Clive Allen is looking for our reserves to hit the ground running when they open their Barclays Premier Reserve League South campaign against West Brom at Leyton Orient tonight, kick-off 7pm.
The lads won one of their first five games and just two of their first 11 last term and that ultimately cost them a place in the top half of the table as they finished well with one defeat in their last seven matches.
This time around they kick-off against the newly-promoted Baggies and then face a trip to champions Aston Villa in the first week.
"Every game is so important in this league, you can't look at it and think about two or three games to get going, you have to hit the ground running," said Clive.
"I've always said I want to win every game and that's emphasised even more by the way the reserve season is - two games in the first week and then a gap of almost a month.
"We want to put a marker down and start the season in the right way. That's important in terms of confidence because we haven't got the games week in, week out. In a strange way, it's like two cup-ties straight away and that's the way the season maps out."
Development coach Clive has been pleased with a pre-season campaign that started with an early 6-1 loss at Crawley Town but improved in friendlies against Aldershot and Rushden & Diamonds. "It's been progressive in terms of where we started and we're in good shape now," he said.
"We have to wait a little longer than the first team for our league to start but in the meantime we've had friendlies that have become more and more difficult, that's what we aimed for and the lads are champing at the bit to get going.
"We start against West Brom and that will be difficult but they will all be difficult. West Brom are back in the Premier League and assembling a good squad and there will be a number of players they will look to give a game to if they haven't been involved. That's the nature of reserve football.
"For our youngsters, it's a terrific incentive to play against or alongside these experienced players. It's a great measure of where they are at in their development."