HAYDEN Mullins admits it was ‘horrible’ being unable to take charge of his Colchester United team following his Covid lay-off.

The U’s head coach returned to the dugout for his side’s 1-0 victory over West Ham United under-21s in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday night after missing their previous two games as he isolated, due to the illness.

Mullins, spent a total of ten days away from his squad, is now back from his Covid bout and says being absent from the club was a frustrating experience.

Mullins said: “It was tough; it was horrible and there are bits on the touchline that you can’t replicate at home.

“There’s an instinct and pulling people around and seeing things that are not quite right and needing to get the message across, there and then, so it’s very frustrating.

“I was at home watching it on iFollow and listening to you guys.

“I did have a feed at home from the Crawley game but it wasn’t the best and it was streamed over the internet, so I couldn’t really see it.”

Mullins tested positive for Covid prior to Colchester’s home clash with Crawley Town on September 18.

It caused him to sit out that match along with the U’s trip to play Swindon Town, last weekend but he is now back in charge.

“I feel better now,” said Mullins.

“It knocked me down for a little bit and for about three or four days, I was quite rough but I’m over it now and I’m happy to be back.

“I was quite surprised how hard it hit me.

“It was the Friday morning when we were in preparing, before the Crawley game and I didn’t feel too well.

“One of our members of staff took a test and it came back positive and I thought I might have to do the same, because I didn’t feel the best.

“I took a lateral flow test and it came back positive and knocked me down for a good three or four days.”

Colchester assistant manager Alex Dyer, along with academy manager Dave Huzzey and performance director Jon De Souza, took first team duties in Mullins’ absence, against Swindon and Crawley.

Mullins said: “Dave Huzzey and Alex Dyer did a fantastic job.

“I think the result against Swindon was a very good one but watching it at home isn’t the best!”

Colchester will be looking to build on their win over West Ham under-21s this weekend when they host Salford City, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Mullins added: “We’re looking forward to it.

“It’s good to build momentum and any win does that.

“We build on what we did on Saturday again and it was a good point on the road.

“Now we’ve come here with a tricky fixture against West Ham under-21s and we won the game, so it’s time for us now to build momentum and start building it to make sure our home form is equal to our away form.”