Omer Riza pleased with progress of Leyton Orient’s talented youngsters ahead of Crewe Alexandra clash
PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 April 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
The O’s need to win on Saturday and hope Hartlepool and Newport fail to beat Barnet and Accrington to avoid relegation for at least another week
Omer Riza is confident Leyton Orient can prevent relegation to the National League for at least another week by winning at 19th-placed Crewe Alexandra this Saturday.
The O’s need to claim all three points at Gresty Road and hope Hartlepool United and Newport County fail to beat Barnet and Accrington Stanley in their respective home matches.
Although relegation appears a certainty for this inexperienced Orient team, Riza remains confident they can win at Crewe despite most of the squad consisting of current academy players or graduates.
“I have had this group all season and they have performed brilliantly because we won the under-18 league by December,” said Orient’s manager.
“We know what qualities they possess and what they can do, but they are inexperienced because they do things that senior players wouldn’t do.
“I am trying to limit the mistakes they are making and we will get results because of that and you can see they are starting to make better decisions and it is slowly coming good.”
Unfortunately for Orient it looks too little, too late for them to produce a great escape and somehow beat the drop.
But four points over the course of the Easter weekend has given supporters something to celebrate and it has been a long time coming.
The Orient fans protested against chairman Francesco Becchetti during Monday’s match with Hartlepool and will continue to voice their frustration until the Italian leaves the Brisbane Road club.
O’s win earlier this week was their first home victory since Boxing Day and it also saw them claim their first double of the campaign after beating Pools away in October, but they remain seven points from safety.
Riza added: “There were a few times where we caught Hartlepool three v three or four v three and we need to be a little bit better in that situation with our decision making.
“Again we have to do more work and we have done stuff on getting the boys on the half turn and sliding through balls in and they did that a lot, so I can’t ask for too much.”
The main question regarding Orient at the moment is when the players and staff will receive their wages for March.
As of this morning, there remains no clear indication about when O’s employees will get the money they deserve.
“I haven’t spoken with the owner and until they want to talk to me then I won’t be able to relay a message,” said Riza.
“As far as I am aware we just carry on as normal and that is what I am going to do. I have said it already, but I respect every decision of all my staff and everyone at the club and what they do.
“But I said when I took over with seven games to go, I have had problems of my own in my playing career. I have been involved in similar circumstances to this and I won’t stop until the end and that is just me.
“I respect everyone’s decision and I hope they respect mine and it isn’t to do with trying to secure anything. I could be gone at the end of the season and I don’t know what is happening.
“I don’t know if the chairman might go or if somebody else will come in, but I am prepared to stay here until the end.”