Ross Embleton said it’s a “surreal feeling” to be the interim head coach at Leyton Orient.

The club announced earlier today that Embleton was to assume the role following the tragic death of Justin Edinburgh, with Danny Webb given the interim assistant coach role and Jobi McAnuff taking up a position as interim player-coach.

Speaking to the club website, Embleton said: “It’s a surreal feeling, if I’m brutally honest. I don’t want to say that I’m having to take the opportunity but the circumstances in which this has come around are circumstances which nobody envisaged but at the same time nobody wants to step in to become interim head coach at a football club in these circumstances. It’s incredibly tough.

“It’s a club that is extremely close to my heart and following the roller coaster ride that we went through last season, I’m privileged to be stepping into the opportunity to try and take the club through what is going to be a very, very difficult period. To do it in the circumstances that I’m doing so is extremely tough right now.”

Embleton and Edinburgh forged an obvious friendship during their time together at the club, the former having re-joined at the start of the 2017/18 season while the latter was appointed in November of that season, and Embleton insisted that it’s important not to forget what Edinburgh did for the club.

He said: “No one will ever forget him. He’s made an impression on me and my family that no one that I’ve ever met has managed to do so. I knew him for 18 months and he’s made it feel like 18 years.

“It’s vitally important that everything we do at this football club, whether that’s me as interim coach or a new manager in time to come, whether that’s new players, whatever we go on to achieve this season, its vitally important that Justin remains a pivotal part of that.

“From the get-togethers and conversations I’ve had with the players that’s already at the forefront of their memories. We’ve all got an incredible amount of hurdles to get over this season, whether it’s just day to day or the emotions that are going to come out, but I know that Justin will be the primary focus that really pushes on throughout the season and beyond.”

This role sees Embleton take his first steps in his managerial career, spending his other stints either in the youth sections or as an assistant, and he will use what he was taught by Edinburgh to help him along.

He said: “If I can take a small piece of it [his quality], you’d like to think that the club will continue to be successful. The way he embraced being a manager was such an amazing thing for me. I think people think there’s a particular way you need to behave as a manager of a football club. You can’t get particularly close to the players, you have to manage the way you are with the staff. I think Justin ripped that copy book up and threw it out of the window.

“The relationships that he built with people, the way he got the best out of people, by doing that in a unique way; embracing people, becoming close with people’s families, lending an ear when you need it, being that big personality. It’s something that as a manager will always live with me.”