Joe Widdowson impressed with Leyton Orient’s talented teens and happy to be out of position
- Credit: David Simpson/TGS Photo
Left-back has looked better this month since Steve Davis changed formation to a 3-5-2/5-3-2
Joe Widdowson has praised the younger members of the Leyton Orient squad after unavailability handed opportunities to several teenagers last weekend.
Myles Judd, 18, made his first start of the campaign during the goalless draw away to Dagenham & Redbridge in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup.
Ruel Sotiriou, a second-year scholar, made his debut in the final exchanges at Victoria Road off the substitutes’ bench, having impressed with the youth-team this season.
Dan Happe, meanwhile, looked solid again at the heart of the O’s defence, despite being only 19 and making just his ninth appearance for the Brisbane Road club.
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Widdowson said: “Ruel has been really lively whenever he has trained with the first-team, so it was nice to see him make his debut at Dagenham.
“Happe has been outstanding since he came into the team, especially for such a young centre back and he’s grown with every game he’s played.
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“I think he is doing really well and we’ve a lot of good youngsters and ‘Juddy’ was excellent in his first start on Saturday, so he was really good.”
Widdowson has also been much improved over the last two games having missed the defeats against AFC Fylde and Tranmere Rovers due to a thigh problem.
Since returning for the 2-2 draw at Barrow on October 7, the left-back has played in the heart of an Orient back five.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed his new role and is no stranger to being played out of position after going through the same during his time at Dagenham last term.
Widdowson had to play on the right side of a back four for the vast majority of the 2016/17 season under John Still due to a lack of options at right-back.
Now the defender has moved away from his more comfortable left-back position and the former West Ham United trainee was asked if he’ll ever return to his favoured spot.
He joked: “I don’t know. It could happen! But I don’t mind learning and adding another string to my bow.
“I enjoyed right-back and I’m quite enjoying playing as a left-sided centre back at the moment.
“I don’t know if I’ll go back to left-back soon, but at the moment I’m enjoying this role, so it’s all good.”
Widdowson has looked better this month and long may it continue with the defender slowly turning into a key player.