ATANGANA: 'We have to start out well'

access_time 5 years ago
Orient midfielder Nigel Atangana is hoping to enjoy some more special memories when the O’s start their League Two campaign against Cheltenham Town on Saturday.
The 26-year-old, a January arrival from Portsmouth, netted his only goal for the South Coast side in a 1-1 draw at Whaddon Road, and while he would to replicate the feat with the O’s, he knows first and foremost a win and a positive start is imperative.
“It will be the first test of the season and it will be a tough one against the National League champions” Atangana told
“I have some very good memories against Cheltenham having scored against them when I was at Portsmouth, but we are looking forward to the game and we have to start out well.
“I am now confident for the first game of the season and the lads are all ready and raring to go.”
A number of the O’s players have been suffering with illness over the last few days, and in the absence of captain Robbie Weir, vice-captain Liam Kelly and club captain Nicky Hunt, Atangana skippered the side in the abandoned friendly over Gillingham on Saturday.
The Frenchman led by example, putting in a strong display in the centre of midfield and is keen to play as much of a part as possible in what he hopes will be a successful season in E10.
“A few of the boys have been ill over the last couple of days and that is disappointing, but I had the chance to play and I have to take every opportunity.
“Even if I am on the bench and come on for just 5-10 minutes I aim to help the team. We are a team and we have to be on the same wavelength. If we are missing a few players through injury or illness we have to stick together because we all want to go in the same direction and that is League One.”
It is his first pre-season with the O’s and he admits they have certainly been put through their paces by new fitness coach Simone Luchessi.
“It has been a good, but tough pre-season. It has been different and we have been working with the new fitness coach Simone but it has been good and intense. It was particularly tough in Italy. That work though will only help us over the course of the season.”