ORIENT assistant boss Kevin Nugent believes his side have the fitness base to overcome the effort of going to extra time at Charlton Athletic on Tuesday.
The 120-minute marathon kicked off the O’s campaign as they knocked the Championship outfit out of the Capital One Cup in a penalty shootout.
With just three days to rest, the east Londoners now travel up to Tranmere Rovers to begin their npower League 1 programme determined to get off to a better start than last season.
Nugent was pleased to see Tranmere also face extra time in midweek and doesn’t believe the extra effort expended on Tuesday will have any bearing on the outcome.
He said: “I’m sure it was difficult for them, don’t get me wrong, but we’ve worked really hard in pre-season in terms of our fitness work and I feel that we have a very fit bunch of players.
“On top of that Tranmere’s game went to extra time as well so that has evened itself out.
“It was pleasing to see that they had to play 120 minutes too, because there is no excuse, they’re in the same boat and both teams have to get on with it.”
The O’s played with real confidence at The Valley, despite still being in the process of introducing eight new players to the side, and Nugent says that victory will stand them in good stead for the weekend.
He continued: “We came through Tuesday’s game on penalties and now we’re moving on to what we call the real start of the season.
“There was some good stuff on Tuesday and we’ve still got things to work on obviously, but I thought it was a really spirited performance.
“It was two decent sides, a quite even game and we nicked it on penalties.
“It is an early stage and we’re not counting our chickens on it, but I thought they [the new signings] integrated well. We feel that we’ve brought in decent players that on top of having the quality to play for us, they have a real honesty as well, which I think the supporters will love about them.”
And of the test ahead, Nugent says he is expecting a stern examination from the Merseysiders.
“It’s always a tough game at Tranmere, no matter what stage of the season it is,” he explained.
“They have a very experienced and excellent manager in Ronnie Moore. He’ll have them up for the battle, the crowd will be up for it and both groups will be looking forward to this start of the season.”