Search

Omer Riza full of praise for Leyton Orient’s young back three at Cambridge United

PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 April 2017

Leyton Orient defender Aron Pollock beats Cambridge United forward Uche Ikpeazu in the air (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient defender Aron Pollock beats Cambridge United forward Uche Ikpeazu in the air (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Aron Pollock, Michael Clark and Dan Happe did well at Abbey Stadium and battled valiantly despite their inexperience

Leyton Orient defender Michael Clark gets above Cambridge United forward Uche Ikpeazu to head clear (pic: Simon O'Connor). Leyton Orient defender Michael Clark gets above Cambridge United forward Uche Ikpeazu to head clear (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient manager Omer Riza praised the performance of his back three after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Cambridge United on Saturday.

Dan Happe, 18, made his O’s debut alongside 19-year-old pair Aron Pollock and Michael Clark in defence.

All three performed well up against powerful U’s striker Uche Ikpeazu and did the club proud despite the League Two loss.

“We were playing a back three, at times we were a five if the wing-backs dropped in, but I am asking a lot of the them,” said Riza.

“I am not just asking them to play a certain way, I am putting them under a little bit of pressure and that will only make them better.

“I thought all three of the defenders were outstanding and they didn’t do much wrong and kept Ikpeazu quiet.

“Ikpeazu is a big strong lad and all of our boys are 19 or 18 and this was Dan Happe’s debut, but he did well.

“Obviously there are things to work at, as with everybody else on the pitch, but Aron and ‘Clarky’ were solid.

“‘Clarky’ took a whack on the nose early and could easily have said he didn’t fancy it, but carried on and aerially they were all strong, so it was a good performance.”

After a solid opening half an hour, a decent move by Cambridge on their left side saw Luke Berry head home the opener.

The run of the midfielder wasn’t tracked and he duly nodded past Sargeant from close range to make it 1-0.

Luke O’Neil doubled the visitors’ advantage soon after when he beat Happe to a free kick and headed into the corner.

It was 2-0 at the break, yet unfortunately Orient conceded a third just eight minutes into the second half.

Pollock made two excellent blocks to initially prevent Cambridge from scoring again, but George Maris fired home after O’s failed to clear their lines.

The performance of Pollock, as well as Clark, was one of the major positives for Riza and his coaching staff to take from the match.

It was the teenagers’ first appearance since making a crucial error against leaders Doncaster Rovers on March 18.

And Pollock bounced back well by being leader throughout at Abbey Stadium and by trying his best to marshal the back three.

Orient conceded three times and suffered their sixth consecutive loss, but the defence could be proud of their efforts.

Riza was without several experienced players at Cambridge with O’s injury list extremely long at the moment.

Gavin Massey and Myles Judd look set to miss the rest of the season with hamstring and back problems respectively.

Alex Cisak continues to struggle with a groin issue along with Callum Kennedy and Nicky Hunt has a knee injury.

Yvan Erichot has been out lately with a pelvic problem while Nigel Atangana has also had trouble with his groin.

Sammy Moore and Robbie Weir are both out for the rest of the campaign with knee issues, but Paul McCallum was set to return to training today.

Tom Parkes is suspended for another two games while Jens Janse and Teddy Mezague were absent on Saturday due to injury.

It leaves the Orient manager short of numbers ahead of Friday’s trip to high-flying Luton Town where O’s could be relegated if they lose and results elsewhere go against them.

“We will take things back to the drawing board this week and get on with it and see what numbers we have got,” said Riza.

“It might be a case of waiting until the end of the week to find out what players are available and then we will crack on.”

Related articles

Latest East London Sports News

15:00

Dagenham & Redbridge under-18s have signed Tower Hamlets youngster Briggs Ojemen this week.

12:00

Wapping saw six of their teams beat the big freeze to pick up five wins and a draw at the weekend.

The two defenders produced an excellent display on Saturday after a testing start to help prevent Sutton United from getting much joy out wide

Yesterday, 17:30

Darting royalty Dennis Priestley, Martin Adams and Bobby George have stepped up to the oche in the fight against prostate cancer, attending an exclusive event at a pub that has signed up as a Men United Arms venue in London.

Yesterday, 15:00

Sporting Bengal United manager Imrul Gazi disappointed to suffer defeat in local derby against Tower Hamlets.

Yesterday, 13:00

Lakeside Hammers fans can grab the perfect Christmas present – a full season of Championship speedway.

Yesterday, 11:00

East London men’s sixth team moved to the top of the Division Seven South East table after a 15-0 romp against Saffron Walden.

Yesterday, 08:00

The U’s were National League leaders come the start of Saturday, but Orient put in an excellent display at Brisbane Road to win 4-1

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now