Graham Alexander has warned Southend United will head to Highbury riding the crest of a promotion wave.
The Town boss knows just what to expect from the Shrimpers having seen his own side carry their play-off momentum into the new season last term.
Town won their opening three League One games, setting the early pace in the division.
But Alexander insists he’ll be ready for the visit of former boss Phil Brown.
“It is a great test,”he said.
“ It is a brilliant division for this football club to be competing in. The teams that come up from League Two will be on a high and we know that from our experience last season.
“Southend United are one of those. They will be looking to start the season as well as everyone else.
“We are concentrating on ourselves as we always do and give the opposition the upmost respect and we look into their strengths and weaknesses.
“We will have the players fit and as properly prepared as they possibly can be. We are confident heading into the first game and we should be because we have shown some really good signs over pre-season.”
Alexander knows his team punched above their weight finishing in tenth spot last time around.
But he’s asking for more of the same on the even of the new campaign
“Most of the Clubs in this division are bigger than us but that doesn’t mean that our ambition can’t be as big as anyone else.
“It’s an exciting division for us.
“We’ve only been in it for a year.
“It takes longer than that to establish yourself in a division, that’s our goal.”
Town’s manager is relieved to be kicking off the campaign at home, giving his new-look squad chance to get a tast of match action at Highbury.
“Ask me if it’s a benefit at ten to five,” joked Alexander.
“It’s good for the players, especially the new ones to help them feel at home, to get a home game in as soon as we can.
“There’s always an extra edge on the first day of the season.
“We’re looking for a positive start but so is every other team.
“We know what Southend can do, from playing them and from seeing what they did in the play-offs.
“But we feel we’ve got the players to make an impact and put together positive results this season.”