Omer Riza hails Leyton Orient supporters after Blackpool defeat
- Credit: Archant
The O’s took 951 fans to Bloomfield Road and never stopped singing
Omer Riza hailed the Leyton Orient supporters after an emotional final-day of the League Two season at Blackpool.
The O’s lost 3-1 at Bloomfield Road with Jens Janse scoring a consolation in the second half.
Blackpool deserved their victory, but the 951 away supporters never stopped singing and backed the team throughout.
Riza said: “It was always going to be emotional and whatever the result, it was about our fans being able to come up and watch the last League Two game for a while.
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“It was nice to say bye to them at the end of the game and hopefully there are better times ahead.”
Earlier this week, the EFL suspended ticket sales to Orient supporters for the final game of the season.
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But the issue was quickly amended and O’s took a large following up to Blackpool and made their presence felt.
“At the beginning of the week we weren’t sure if our fans were going to be able to watch the game, which was hugely disappointing, but they (ELF) made the right decision,” said Riza.
“To have nearly a thousand people come up to Blackpool is a credit to the fans and the club. I can’t talk any higher of the fans and they have been brilliant since I took over and I have loved every minute of that aspect because they’ve been great.”
Orient’s fate had been decided a while ago, but there was drama elsewhere on the last day of the season.
Newport County secured a dramatic great escape with a 2-1 win over Notts County at Rodney Parade.
Orient beat the Welsh outfit 4-0 in March and the Exiles looked destined for the drop at that point.
And Riza admitted the business completed by Newport in the January transfer window proved key.
He added: “I think they brought in 10 players, so if you let players go and don’t replace them then it becomes difficult and you have to rely on young players.
“They are good players, but they are not quite ready yet and don’t have the knowhow because a lot of teams who have beaten us recently have done so because of knowhow.
“It makes a difference when you don’t have experienced players in the team who have played for a while and if you let players go, you need to replace them and we didn’t do that.”
With the season now over, the focus can turn to the future and what will happen at Orient over the summer.
Riza again reiterated his desire to stay at the club and called for some communication from above.
“I want to be here next year and I want to bring this team back up and I have already been planning,” said the 37-year-old.
“If I am here and I wasn’t planning and prepping then I would be in trouble, so I have everything in place.
“Obviously if a new owner comes in or our owner stays, things need to become clear for everybody and that is the biggest problem at the moment.
“There is no real direction and nobody knows where they are going, so now the season is finished there is nothing else to wait for.”