JAMES Henry believes Oxford United’s decision to experiment with a different formation this week will pay dividends later this season.

Boss Pep Clotet used the Checkatrade Trophy tie with Brighton & Hove Albion Under 21s to switch from a back four to a 3-5-2 system.

While the U’s had switched to a back three when they were chasing the game at Blackpool last month, the 2-2 draw with the Seagulls youngsters was the first time it had been deployed for 90 minutes.

Henry, who has mainly been used wide on the left this season, moved to a right wing back role and thinks experience of an alternative shape will stand the side in good stead.

He said: “It’s good to be able to play in multiple positions and as I’ve got older I’ve been able to do that.

“It is a totally different position, you have to be a lot more defence-minded, which is fine.

“But the more positions and formations that we can do is only going to help us through the season.”

While it is unlikely to see United line up with a back three against AFC Wimbledon tomorrow, playing with three centre backs has given Clotet food for thought.

He said: “Some parts of the game it worked, some obviously not.

“We could have stuck to what we were doing, but I think it was a good opportunity to play it.

“At the same time I wanted to see if some of our players could perform slightly different roles in case we need them.

“That’s why I’m very happy with the performance of someone like James Henry and Ruffs (Josh Ruffels) as well.

“Although he played some games as a left back here I wanted to see it for myself.”