MIKAEL Mandron insists he was more than happy to answer Colchester United’s central midfield SOS – but admits it is a more demanding position than his normal attacking role.

A host of injuries to midfielders has led to the 24-year-old switching from his usual forward role to the middle of the park, in the U’s last three matches.

Mandron says he has relished playing in a different position – but the former Sunderland youngster concedes it is more energy-sapping than playing up front.

He said: “I really enjoy it, because you’re just so involved.

“I can help the team and anything I can do to do that, I’ll do it.

“I’ve played in the ten before when I was at Sunderland and when I was very young, around 14.

“I do like to be involved all the time and I will always give my all, either in training or in a game – that’s the way I am.

“At the end of the day, it’s just football and I just love being a footballer no matter where I am on the pitch.

“If at the minute I have to play either centre mid or ten, I’ll do that.

“It’s definitely a more demanding position because when you play there, you never stop.

“There’s always someone to mark and it’s harder in that it never stops but I still enjoy it.

“I’ve always been a fit lad and if you look at my stats, even as a striker I’m always among the player who have run the most on the pitch and that’s been the case in the last couple of games for me, in midfield.”

Colchester host Tranmere Rovers this weekend, looking for a win to boost their League Two play-off hopes.

The U’s lie a point off the top seven following a run of one win in six matches and host a Tranmere side who lie three points above them in fifth, after racking up five straight wins.

“There’s so many points to play for, with eight games to go,” said Mandron, who has scored twice for Colchester this season.

“We’re still very confident and we work hard every day to try and get into those play-off positions.

“It would be a shame to miss out and I don’t think we can hide from that.

“It’s been our target and still is - we’ve worked hard all season for it.

“You drop in and out of it and it just happens like that – you don’t want to look at it too much in depth.

“You want to go on the pitch and take one game after another and that’s what we’ll do.

“It’s in our hands and we know how well we can play at home.

“We’re playing against a team that’s got good quality but every time we step out on the pitch, we do so with loads of confidence.

“What’s been good this season is that we’ve never been too high and not got too low – you can’t beat yourself up.

“You have to get back out on the training pitch and focus on the next game.

“As footballers, there’s been many times when we’ve been in the same situation where things haven’t gone well for one reason or another but you can’t beat yourself up or feel sorry for yourself.

“We’ve worked hard on stuff we’ve needed to work on to get ready for the next match.”