Leyton Orient boss Omer Riza to keep using Antonio Conte's fashionable 3-4-3 formation
PUBLISHED: 16:00 05 April 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
37-year-old discusses playing with three central defenders and wing-backs plus protecting O’s younger players
Leyton Orient manager Omer Riza has revealed he favours using the 3-4-3 formation which has helped Antonio Conte’s Chelsea earn so much success this season and is likely to continue using it during his time in charge of the League Two club.
The O’s lined up with three central defenders and wing-backs on Saturday against Wycombe Wanderers, but suffered a 2-0 defeat.
Orient looked comfortable despite having little time to work on it and their fifth boss of the campaign is likely to use it again at Cambridge United this weekend.
Riza said: “3-4-3 is a formation I favour. I was a striker in my playing days and I like to attack and have options up front.
“When I was playing, if I received the ball I wanted to have people around me and to play balls forward and have support in front of me.
“It was a three at the back and four in midfield, but we had Jens Janse on the right and Callum Kennedy on the left and both are defence-minded, so we wanted to be solid.
“When you have work horses like Liam Kelly and Michael Collins in the middle, who have worked tirelessly all season and with quality to boot, it made sense to play that formation.
“I thought we were the better side on Saturday, even with the problems we faced, and in the second half we had good possession where we could have possibly got a goal back.”
Orient certainly started brightly against the Chairboys before Tom Parkes was sent off for a high tackle on Garry Thompson.
Wycombe took full advantage with Matt Bloomfield and Myles Weston scoring, although the latter occurred in controversial circumstances.
It was a difficult first match for Riza, who was without several experienced players due to injury.
Goalkeepers Alex Cisak and Charlie Grainger are both currently out with groin issues, so Sam Sargeant started again versus Wycombe.
There was also a place on the bench for under-18 stopper Arthur Janata on Saturday and Riza discussed his potential.
But admitted the young goalkeeper and the various other academy players shouldn’t be in this pressure situation.
“Arthur is only a first-year scholar and he is a great lad with a great attitude. He works hard like all of the young boys,” said Riza.
“They have all been through a lot this season and they have all had opportunities that they maybe shouldn’t have had this year.
“Should Arthur be on the bench at 17? No. Should our other boys who have played plenty of games this year be playing? No, so we have to protect them a little bit.
“But when you don’t have any other options it is hard and our two other goalkeepers Charlie and Alex are injured.
“Arthur is a good goalkeeper. I wouldn’t want to throw him in if I had to, but if I had to I would.”
Janata could be on the bench again at Cambridge with both Cisak and Grainger still struggling with groin problems.