The saying patience is a virtue could almost certainly be applied to Leyton Orient’s Marvin Ekpiteta.

Signed by Orient back in January on a two-and-a-half-year deal, the 22-year-old was initially loaned back to his former club East Thurrock United for the rest of the campaign ahead of linking up permanently with the O’s in the summer.

But the young defender was recalled at the start of March, making his debut against Dover Athletic as a late substitute and he has had to wait patiently to show the Orient faithful what he can do at Brisbane Road.

But Ekpiteta’s patience was rewarded on Saturday, as he made his home debut when he came on as a first half substitute for the injured Josh Coulson, and the young defender admitted that he didn’t think his opportunity would come so soon.

Speaking to the Guardian Series on Monday, he said: “I didn’t expect my chance to come so soon to be honest because the other two centre half’s have been playing really well and they’ve been fit as well. But I’ve been training really hard to make sure I was ready when I did get my chance, which I did and I just had to make sure I took it.”

Ekpiteta was arguably one of the biggest success stories to come out of Saturday’s game against Barrow, with the 22-year-old slotting seamlessly into the O’s back four alongside George Elokobi.

It’s easy to forget that he was still playing National League South football a couple of weeks ago and the former East Thurrock United man feels like he’s settled in well at Brisbane Road.

He said: “It was a bit hard at first getting used to playing and training full-time and the quality of players as well. But now, I feel like I’ve adapted to it well and I’m up to the level now with the rest of the boys, which is good. I feel fit and more confident as well in myself.”

Now Ekpiteta has made his home debut, he now wants to help Orient gain promotion back to League 2 next season and also revealed that the O’s had been watching him for some time prior to his move to Brisbane Road.

He said: “The club were watching me for a while before I signed. They were keeping tabs on me and every time they came down to watch me, I just made sure I played well. Then they signed me after that.

“It’s been really good so far. I’ve really enjoyed it. All the players have welcomed me and the staff are great. Everything about the club is just so good. It’s such a big club and I know that the club has far to go, so I wanted to be a part of it and I want to take the club up to the next level, which I know we can do.”