Colchester United head coach Hayden Mullins was pleased with his side's performance in their opening-day draw at Carlisle United today.

The U's battled hard for a point in their League Two curtain-raiser at Brunton Park, in front of more than 200 of their travelling fans.

Colchester had to rely on Shamal George at times, with the former Carlisle keeper making a string of fine saves.

But the U's had their chances too, with Alan Judge denied by Carlisle shot-stopper Magnus Norman on the stroke of half-time as honours finished even.

Mullins said: “We knew it would be a tough game and that they would start fast.

“They had 6,000 fans here and we knew that they wanted to put on a bit of a show for them and that we wouldn’t get anything our own way which we didn’t.

“We spoke about slowing down their tempo but I thought we grew into the game especially in the first half and by the end of the first half, I thought we were much the stronger team.

“We finished with a really good chance from Judgey and managed the game the way we wanted to manage it.

“We knew had to slow it down at times because of the tempo and the pace of it and I think we did that.

“I was happy with the way the second half started and I think we earned our luck.

"I thought we managed the game really well in the first ten to 15 minutes of the second half and grew into it, without really doing too much.

"I thought we were always a bit of a threat on the counter attack.

“The opener is always a tough one, especially with the fans back in and the extra buzz.

“It was good to see and hear the fans back and the noise they made at times was very good.

“We got into some really good areas but we just didn’t get the right connection.

“We’re happy with what we did today, with the point and the clean sheet.

“It’s the start of the season and sometimes, you can be a little bit off it.

“But I thought with all of the changes we’ve made, it was a real team effort."

U's keeper George was forced to make several excellent saves in the second half, denying the likes of Tristan Abrahams and Jon Mellish, after Carlisle had twice broken quickly from Colchester attacks.

Mullins added: "That was my fault - I told Ryan Clampin to go and look for the short one for the first one, mainly to draw the nine out.

"For the second one, Brendan (Wiredu) tried to intercept the ball and we were wide open, so that's definitely something that we need to tidy up.

"And there were times when we won the ball back, I think we could have been a bit braver.

“Shamal did a job and he did it well.

“He made an outstanding double save and I thought it was a goal.

“All credit to him – we spoke about it in the dressing room."

Colchester are next in action on Tuesday night when they travel to play Birmingham City, in the Carabao Cup first round.