COLCHESTER United skipper Harry Pell admits this summer will be a 'huge' one for the club.

The U’s look all but certain to be in League Two again next season with two games remaining, following Grimsby Town's relegation last night.

But Colchester have found themselves battling to avoid dropping out of the Football League, over recent months.

A host of first-team players – including Pell – are out of contract at the JobServe Community Stadium, this summer.

And the tenacious midfielder, who has played his part in helping steer the U’s clear of the drop over recent weeks, admits there are lessons to be learned following a disappointing campaign.

Pell said: “It’s a huge summer for the club and I think this year will just prove that people at all levels should take a lot from.

“We need to learn from it, because this club is far too big to be down there fighting against relegation.

“It’s a massive club in League Two and the reason I came here was for promotion, so it should always be up there.

“This year has most definitely not been good enough but I’m really looking forward to hopefully picking up some points, wiping its face, enjoying the summer and having a nice cold beer and going again.”

Meanwhile, Pell says Hayden Mullins’ calmness has been beneficial to the squad, over recent weeks.

Mullins took over as interim boss at the end of last month and has helped keep Colchester out of the relegation zone, guiding them to eight points from a possible 18.

“Hayden is a really nice guy and a calming character,” said Pell, who has started Colchester’s last 11 games.

“He reminds me a little bit of myself, in that he can get quite emotional with football and I love people like that.

“There was a real nice moment after the Southend game with his words afterwards – you could see it meant so much to him and to so many other people.

“You get all different kinds of managers and in my career, I’ve played under so many.

“You get shouters, you get people who can cut to the bone and you get some real calming characters and Hayden is definitely one of them.

“He takes everything in his stride and at this moment in time, is it the right thing that we needed?

“I’m not the right one to make that sort of decision but it’s definitely paid off because he is really calm.

“But the players have to take some responsibility as well because I think Bally (Steve Ball) is a great coach and I think Browny (Wayne Brown) steadied the ship and brought his own stamp on it.

“If anything, the players have let those people down, rather than them letting people down.”