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Orient head coach Edinburgh encouraged by squad’s adaptability

PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 August 2018

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh on the touchline at Gateshead (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh on the touchline at Gateshead (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The O’s used a couple of formations at the weekend during their 2-2 draw with Southend United

Many O’s fans in attendance for Leyton Orient’s friendly with Southend United last Saturday would have noticed a slightly unusual formation used from the off.

Although Justin Edinburgh picked James Dayton, Alex Lawless, Charlie Lee and Jobi McAnuff in the midfield spots, they didn’t line up in a flat four.

Instead, Lee was at the base with Dayton just behind the forwards (Macauley Bonne and James Alabi) in a diamond system.

Out wide were McAnuff and Lawless and – a number of fans were quick to point out - Orient also did something similar for the last quarter of an hour in the 1-1 draw at St Albans City on July 24.

Up against quality opposition, O’s struggled to create much in the formation, but they did prevent Southend left-back Ben Coker from enjoying any joy down his flank like he usually does in League One.

It was hard to say whether it was a success or not given the Blues took the lead from a strike which wasn’t anything to do with tactics, but it did allow Edinburgh the chance to try something different.

He changed back to a traditional 4-4-2 with around 10 minutes of the first half left, yet was pleased to see the players adapt well to it.

Speaking after the game, the O’s head coach said: “It is something I know we have within us and it was an opportunity with the personnel who needed minutes to try that.

“I thought in stages in the first half it worked well and in other stages it was not so good, but it is good for the players to know it and have a different question to pose to opposition.”

Orient were not cut open in the system, but at the same time struggled to create many opportunities against Southend.

Nevertheless, it was worthwhile for the east Londoners to try it out and especially at the current stage of pre-season.

Whether O’s use it at Salford City this weekend remains to be seen, but don’t be surprised if the formation is implemented at one stage over the next few months.

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