Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade believes his side have put their Wembley nightmare behind them after their dramatic penalty shootout win over Plymouth in the Capital One Cup.
The O's squandered a 2-0 and 3-2 lead in their 3-3 draw after extra-time at Home Park. This meant Orient faced a shootout less than three months after the agony of missing out on promotion in the play-off final.
But two saves from debutant Gary Woods and crucial penalties converted by players such as Mathieu Baudry, who failed to score at Wembley, helped Orient win 6-5 and scrape into the second round.
Slade said: “Their character doesn’t surprise me. I think in a way I’m hoping to use this as a springboard to move forward and the fact we’ve gone and won a penalty shootout in a cup competition having been pegged back from being in the lead I see that as something we’ve got over.
“I think it might kick-start us and to win in any way shape or form is positive. You have to take the positives out of that. We’ve won our first football match of the season in our second game."
But Slade believes it is criminal that teams have to play extra time in the opening week of the season and was left to rue the physical cost of the cup tie along with injuries to Shaun Batt and Lloyd James.
He said: "I don’t think anybody wants extra time on the first Tuesday of the season. To even have extra time in the first week is beyond me. It’s criminal. There are high risks of injuries to both sets of teams and players and I do not see the logic of it.
“I think to go straight to penalties after 90 minutes makes sense and as you know it’s not 90 or 120 minutes. I totted all those minutes up and I think it was 130 and that’s a lot for your second game off the season. We were trying to manipulate to bed a few players in because we’ve recruited a little bit later than we would have liked. It proved a challenging night for us."