HAYDEN Mullins praised his ‘first class’ Colchester United players after their completed their League Two season with a 0-0 draw at promotion-chasing Tranmere Rovers this afternoon.

The U’s have finished in 20th place after finishing a difficult campaign with back-to-back clean sheets.

Mullins has led Colchester to safety after their fourth-tier position had looked precarious and the interim head coach was pleased with his players’ efforts in their final game, at Prenton Park.

Mullins said: “We spoke all this week about how we want to approach the game.

“We didn’t want it to be a game where they had it their own way and we just turned up.

“We wanted to make it tough for them and carry on the momentum.

“There were a couple of days in training where they probably felt they were on the beach and ‘let’s have some five-a-sides and enjoy ourselves’ and you have to refocus them back to the job we need to do.

“The boys have been first class, they really have and I’ve just spoken to them about the mindset and where they’ve been, over these last eight games.

“They’ve been fantastic and to come off the run that we were on and turn it around and win three, draw three and only lose two has been fantastic.”

Colchester had the better chances in the game, particularly in the second half.

Michael Folivi, Noah Chilvers and Miles Welch-Hayes all tested Tranmere keeper Joe Murphy after the break while at the other end, the U’s were rarely threatened.

“I think we grew into the game, if I’m honest,” added Mullins.

“I think we started off a little bit slow and I think that was down to them really needing to get a result.

“I think they tried to get us knowing that we were safe but we didn’t want to come here and approach it that way.

“We wanted to approach it in the same way as we’ve approached our other games and keep our momentum going.

“We wanted to be front footed and come here and give them a test.

“They’re good side and they have loads of threats, going forward.

“The boys have applied themselves really, really well.

“There was a period in the second half where we were on top.

“We wanted to move the ball around a little bit better than we had in the first half.

“We spoke to them at half-time and be more aggressive with our press and I think big Brendan (Wiredu) and Laps (Tom Lapslie) did that and backed the two strikers up.

“A couple of times Brendan won it in midfield and really drove on and he’s got that in his game.

“He’s a tenacious boy and a strong boy and you’re almost want to let the reins off him but he’s got loads to come.”