HAYDEN Mullins believes his first-hand knowledge of Colchester United’s players will stand him in good stead for the final run-in.

Mullins has worked with the U’s squad all season in the role as assistant manager and has now stepped up to be their interim head coach until the end of the current campaign, as they attempt to preserve their League Two status.

Colchester are preparing for a vital game against fellow strugglers Barrow tomorrow,

And having guided them to an impressive 0-0 draw at in-form Bolton Wanderers on Good Friday in his first game in charge, Mullins says knowing the players as he does is an advantage.

Mullins said: “It’s key that I know the players personally, as people and as players.

“It’s a good help and going into this run of games, you know their strengths and weaknesses.

“You also know them as individuals, character wise so it’s good to have seen that first hand.

“Now I have a chance as head coach to go and implement my tactics and my style of play with the players that I’ve worked with, all season.”

There were plenty of impressive performances for Colchester in their draw at Bolton.

Winger Courtney Senior shone and caused the Trotters defence plenty of problems with his skill and trickery, at the University of Bolton Stadium.

“Courtney’s a player who you have to give a little bit of freedom,” said Mullins.

“He can go past people and he can create things and he was one of the players who we were looking at (against Bolton) to try and get us up the pitch.

“A couple of times, he went past their lads like they weren’t there and that’s the Courtney we need.

“The bonus is that he’s getting back and he’s working.

“Clamps is the same – Ryan going forward was very good.

“He’s quick and he goes on the overlap really well and gets his crosses in so he’s a danger and a threat, going that way.

“I thought defensively he was really good, stopping his wide man really aggressively and stopped him.

“We were very good and what helps is that the boys pull each other around, on the pitch.

“You’ve also got Frank (Nouble) running around up front and he sets the tone, which is fantastic.

“If Brendan (Wiredu) in behind him sees the big man doing it he thinks ‘well why can’t I?’ and it’s just about pulling each other around, being positive and building minute by minute and every minute we’re in the game, it’s more confidence for them.”