COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal admits releasing players like Mikael Mandron are the hardest decisions to make in football.

Striker Mandron is now looking for pastures new, after the U’s decided not to offer him a new contract following the expiry of his current deal.

Winger Ryan Gondoh has also been released by Colchester, as they begin to shape their squad for the 2019-20 League Two campaign.

McGreal said: “Mika has been brilliant for us.

“The first thing I can say about Mika is the amount of hard work and graft he’s put in.

“He’s the first one out on the grass in training and the last one back in.

“He’s really improved but it’s the club’s decision.

“Mika is such a loveable boy and these decisions are the hardest to make in football.

“They’re not nice decisions to make but you have to make them and that’s where we are as a football club.”

Mandron, 24, spent two years at Colchester after joining them from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2017.

The Frenchman made 95 league and cup appearances for the U's, scoring 12 times.

Last summer, he was linked with a move to League One outfit Peterborough United and Dutch club FC Utrecht.