HAYDEN Mullins says the experience of managing Watford in the Premier League at the end of last season will stand him in good stead in his coaching career.

The Colchester United assistant manager was the Hornets’ interim head coach for their final two games of the 2019-20 campaign – against Manchester City and Arsenal.

Mullins was left in a tough position after taking temporary charge following Nigel Pearson’s departure, with Watford struggling against relegation.

He pitted his wits against Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta, in quick succession.

The Hornets eventually went down in heartbreaking fashion following defeat at Arsenal on the final day of the season but new U’s number two Mullins says he has learnt greatly from what happened.

Mullins said: “It was a good experience.

“When you’re coaching and you get an opportunity to manage, there’s no perfect scenario that you’d like to step into.

“The scenario we stepped into and found ourselves in at Watford was a tough one – there’s no getting away from that.

“They were two tough teams to play but we approached it in a certain way and I think the pressure of dealing with the last game of the season and how much it had riding on it will always stand you in good stead, because you can’t really describe and explain how tough it actually it is.

“You go home and you’re still thinking about the game and who’s running down the right and what shape they’re going to play, even though you’re at home.

“The pressure of it is different; as an assistant, you haven’t got that pressure on your shoulders.

“The gaffer will probably shoulder all of that but I’m there to assist him and take as much of it as I need to.

“But those two games do stand you in good stead and no matter what you say, you can only learn by going through it and living it.

“I was fortunate that I was given the chance to do it and I experienced it.”

Mullins quit his academy role at Watford at the start of this month to take over as Colchester’s assistant manager.

It ended his four-year stint at the Championship club, where he had two interim spells in charge of the first team and also coached in their academy.

“Watford was a football club that I really enjoyed working at.

“There are some fantastic staff there; I got on well with the players and the staff and I was there for four years.

“It was a tough decision to leave.

“I could have stayed in the academy and floated in and around that but once you’re given an opportunity at a club and you can see the vision and the way it wants to go, I think you’ve got a decision to make and that’s what I did.

“I was aware of the set up at Colchester beforehand.

“I’d been here a few times and I knew the training ground and the stadium.

“I had an understanding of what the club is like and it’s great to be here.

“It’s a good squad; I’ve seen a lot of the players before, so I knew what was coming really.”