Danny Webb: Leyton Orient must play to Paul McCallum's strengths
PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 February 2017
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Brisbane Road boss discusses decision to drop Victor Adeboyejo from the squad at Yeovil Town and his substitutions on Saturday
Leyton Orient boss Danny Webb believes it is important they play to the strengths of Paul McCallum now he’s back fit and available after injury.
The O’s top goalscorer missed the defeats at home to Carlisle United and Morecambe after suffering a knee problem on January 28.
McCallum returned at Yeovil Town, however, and played his part in helping Orient draw 1-1 by setting up Gavin Massey’s late equaliser.
“I’ve said it before, for me ‘Macca’ is one of the best strikers in the league. I was quite a big, slow centre forward and I didn’t score as many goals as him,” said Webb.
“Where as I think he is of a type that is making its way back into the game and when we’re on the pitch we have to play to his strengths.
“Now that doesn’t mean we get it from the back and just boom it up to him because he’s a good footballer.
“He isn’t just a head on a stick, so as we got into the final third at Yeovil, the message at half time was can we get the ball into the area and get onto the bits.
“Luckily, even though Liam (Kelly) missed that chance, Gavin was round the back and ready to clean up.”
With McCallum returning from injury on Saturday, it meant Victor Adeboyejo was the unlucky man to miss out.
The 19-year-old was at Yeovil, but not part of the squad and Webb explained why Sam Dalby was included among the replacements.
“I had a good chat with Victor and left Sam on the bench because sometimes I like to change it and have somebody who can play behind the front two,” said the O’s boss.
“Sam does that better than Victor, but at the same time on another day I may have included Victor because in an ideal world with youngsters you dip them in and then take them out.
“Victor and Sam were two of my only options the other night against Morecambe and we went with them and they did ever so well. It is nothing Victor did wrong, it is just ‘Macca’ is ahead of him at the moment.”
The introduction of McCallum, Josh Koroma and Callum Kennedy in the second half helped Orient get back into the game.
Kennedy offered more of an attacking threat from left-back while Koroma caught the eye against the Glovers.
McCallum’s presence unsettled the Yeovil defence and it was no surprise he headed down for Massey to equalise.
The back four which ended the match for O’s at Huish Park is now likely to start against Plymouth Argyle tomorrow.
Webb revealed he was reluctant to change Orient’s defence following the 1-0 loss at home to Morecambe last Tuesday.
He added: “Callum, regardless of Yvan Erichot’s groin injury, was going to come on at half time against Yeovil.
“I felt we did all right the other night as a back four, so I didn’t want to change that even though Nicky Hunt was out of position.
“But I thought Callum came on and the crossing ability he’s got, with ‘Macca’ in and around the area and Josh in there too, we looked like we might get a win.”
Orient were without Sammy Moore for the clash in Devon after he was hit by a virus late last week.
Without the ex-AFC Wimbledon midfielder, Webb lined up with Kelly, Michael Collins and Nigel Atangana in the middle.
The trio looked good together and offered Orient a good balance between defence and attack at the Glovers.
“Sammy has got a bit of a virus, so I went with the three against Yeovil because they are all good footballers,” said Webb.
“It wasn’t a 4-5-1, it was a 4-3-3 and it worked for large periods, but after five minutes of the second half I felt we’d change to a 4-4-2, especially with ‘Macca’ coming on.”