HAYDEN Mullins admits Colchester United’s improved second-half display at Oldham Athletic has given him ‘food for thought’ ahead of their crucial run-in.

The U’s interim head coach changed to three at the back almost immediately after his side had fallen 3-0 behind in the League Two clash, sending on Omar Sowunmi and Jevani Brown at Boundary Park.

What followed was a spirited revival with goals from Frank Nouble and Tom Eastman giving Colchester hope of clinching a draw, before two late goals secured a 5-2 triumph for the Latics.

The U’s host Walsall in their next game looking for a win to give their survival hopes a big boost and boss Mullins says what happened in the second half has given him something to think about.

Mullins said: “It’s given me a little bit of food for thought.

“I did look at the formation and it did give us an extra pass.

“We looked a threat going forward and there are a lot of things to take away from the game that we’ll look at and assess and then move on and go again.

“The second half was a real positive and they showed all of the heart and desire and played some attractive football.

“We went forward and we were a threat and created a number of chances.

“We should have got back in the game but we got hit twice on the counter attack.

“We were trying to get the equaliser and we lost the fourth goal and the fifth goal was just us switching off in the box.

“I think the boys have got to take great heart from the second-half display.”

Colchester lie four points above the relegation zone with five games remaining, after yesterday’s results.

The U’s have back-to-back home games against Walsall and Southend United coming up and boss Mullins is staying positive, as he strives to help them secure their League Two safety.

“We’ve got two home games now, which is good,” said Mullins.

“It was a tough game (at Oldham) and we were inches away from getting a result.

“It’s down to us and our future is in our own hands.

“It’s about approaching the next game with confidence and progression.”

It is unclear as yet when Colchester’s home game with Walsall will take place.

It was scheduled for next Saturday at 3pm but sporting bodies are in discussions regarding plans for fixtures following confirmation that Prince Philip’s funeral will take place at Windsor Castle that afternoon.

An EFL spokesperson said: “As a mark of respect, EFL matches scheduled for 3pm on Saturday 17 April will be moved to avoid a clash with the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“The EFL will now work with its clubs to determine at what time the matches will be played, giving consideration to the timing of the service.

“An announcement will follow in due course.”