Nathan Pond insists Fleetwood Town are no surprise package as they look to cement their place at the top end of League One.
Town travel to Boundary Park on Saturday to face Oldham Athletic - another of the bigger names of lower league football with which Graham Alexander’s men are now rubbing shoulders.
Fleetwood are currently second in the table and unbeaten in the third tier.
Their early season form may have come as a shock to some, but not to centre half Pond, who is clear on Town’s quality.
He said: “We’re certainly not surprising ourselves.
“We might be surprising other people. But we’ve got good quality players, we knew that last season.
“The only people who should be surprised are those who underestimated us.”
Pond insists a football club should always be judged on the team they put out, not by the size of their support of the number of seats in their stadium.
He warned against judging Fleetwood in such terms.
“People might look at us when we play at home, see the small stadium, see that we’ve just come up and fancy a win.
“When we go away people might look at our following, at the fact it’s a small town.
“Some of the big clubs in this division take thousands.
“They might see us as a small club but we’re more than happy to surprise them.
“We know what we’re capable of.”
Leyton Orient’s first half goal last Saturday was the first conceded by Town from open play this season.
It’s an impressive defensive record and one Pond pointed out stretches to before the summer break.
“It’s been a very good start,” said the 29-year-old.
“We finished where we left off last season.
“In the play-offs we didn’t concede and we’ve carried that on at the moment.
“Long may it continue for us.”
There was certainly no sign of town being overawed last weekend when they picked up a very creditable point against the Os.
Pond said: “Leyton Orient got to the play-off final last season.
“We knew it was probably going to be our toughest game so far.
“In the end we were disappointed with the goal we conceded.
“It was a set piece, a header.
“We weren’t happy at conceding from that.
“There was very little between the two sides.”
The Latics, like Orient, haven’t hit the ground running this season but did pick up a win last weekend away at Doncaster.
Pond remembers the Boundary Park club as one of the high-achieving sides of his youth, their cup exploits under Joe Royle still fresh in the memory.
And he knows bringing points back from Greater Manchester will require another big effort.
“It’s a big name,” he said.
“I remember them beating United in the FA Cup when I was a kid.
“It’s not too far for us to go.
“It’s a bit of a derby.
“There should be a good turnout from the Fleetwood fans.
“We’re confident, we’ll go there to win the game.
“But they won their last one, they’ll have confidence from that.
“They’ve been at this level for a while now, it’s not going to be an easy game.”