Atangana hopes to progress with the O’s
12:30 26 January 2016
Simon O'Connor Photography
The midfielder was initially sad after learning Ian Hendon had left, but is excited to work with Kevin Nolan
Nigel Atangana is looking forward to progressing with Leyton Orient and making his home debut tonight (Tuesday) after joining them last week.
The 26-year-old agreed a permanent switch to Brisbane Road from League Two rivals Portsmouth last Wednesday.
He spoke initially to former O’s head coach Ian Hendon about moving and despite him leaving, new player-manager Kevin Nolan still wanted the midfielder.
Nolan enjoyed a winning start at Wycombe Wanderers with Jay Simpson and Calaum Jahraldo-Martin on target.
The next challenge for him is Newport County, who make the trip to Brisbane Road this evening.
Atangana said: “I used to talk to the last gaffer Ian, he told me the club expects to go into the Championship in two or three years.
“When I came to Portsmouth before, it was not for the money it was because they wanted to go up and that is what I want.
“I want to progress and now I am in Leyton, they have big ambitions so I am here to progress with the club.
“I am not the kind of player to stay on the bench, I like to play. It is two years I have been at Portsmouth so of course it was a tough decision, but I don’t have any regrets. Leyton is a massive club so I am very happy to be here and I’ll do my best.”
The former Havant & Waterlooville midfielder admitted he was upset to discover Hendon had left Orient.
He was worried it would jeopardise his switch, but the French ace soon found out it wouldn’t.
Atangana added: “I was sad when Ian left because the deal is done, but after that the club called Portsmouth and said they still want Nigel so I was happy.
“That is a good thing because it is not only the manager, but the club wants you and the chairman, the chief executive so I will do my best for the club.
“They gave me a lot and the chance to play again so I need to give a lot back and do my best.”
After Saturday, Orient fans can already see the quality of Atangana and long may that continue.
He is looking forward to playing at Brisbane Road this evening and working with the new boss.
“It is always great to play at home now and we have two games there so it is a great chance for us,” said the former Pompey man.
“I think it is a fresh start and a new one, a new gaffer is in and some players like Armand Gnanduillet and everyone is focused to get victories. We all want to make the play-offs and we are all ready for that.
“It will be fantastic for me as a midfield player to work with him. I used to watch him play and for me it is Lampard, Gerrard, Kevin Nolan – they are all the same class. I am very pleased to work with him and I am looking forward to learning a lot.”