COLCHESTER United will assess when the best time is for head coach Hayden Mullins to return after he missed their game against Crawley Town due to illness.

The U's boss was absent from the 1-0 defeat at the JobServe Community Stadium after feeling unwell, along with goalkeeper coach Darren Smith.

Colchester's assistant manager Alex Dyer took the Colchester side in Mullins' absence, assisted by academy boss Dave Huzzey and performance director, Jon De Souza.

Mullins was in contact throughout the match with the U's coaching team, via headset.

Dyer has stressed that Mullins does not Covid but that they nevertheless acted quickly to prevent anything spreading around the squad.

Dyer said: "It only happened the day before the game.

"The gaffer came in and he didn't feel too well so like always, the protocol is to send home.

"He's at home now and we're trying to work out when's best for him to come back in.

"He felt a lot better (on Saturday) so we'll just wait and see.

"But the protocol is that as soon as someone goes down, whether it's Covid or not, you just get them out of the building so no-one else gets it."

Colchester are still licking their wounds following their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Crawley Town.

Jack Payne’s first-half strike proved the difference between the two sides at the JobServe Community Stadium, as the U’s wait for a first home win of the season continued.

"As the game went on it became a lot more difficult because we're trying to knock down the door and we're not doing it," said Dyer, who was appointed Colchester's assistant manager in June.

"The lads tried; the endeavour was good and they worked hard.

"It just wasn't going to be the day that we got a result.

"We created a few chances but they had a few chances as well because we're open and we're trying to press and create.

"Because of that, we left ourselves open at the back a little bit.

"It was a disappointing day, because after the Barrow result we wanted to come home and win the game and give the supporters something to cheer about.

"But it's not to be and we have to make sure that we go to Swindon this weekend and try and get the three points."