ROBBIE Cowling has expressed his gratitude to Colchester United management duo Hayden Mullins and Paul Tisdale for helping to steer the club to League Two safety.

But the U's supremo has given no indication on whether or not either - or both - will be staying on in their roles, next season.

Mullins stepped up from his assistant manager role to take over as Colchester's interim boss at the end of March, with the club four points above the relegation zone.

Working alongside advisor Tisdale, he helped secure their Football League safety after leading them to 12 points with three wins, three draws and two defeats.

Cowling has praised the duo's contribution to the cause, after Colchester finished the season on a high note.

Writing on the U's official website, he said: "...Hayden Mullins and Paul Tisdale...have been remarkable and have worked brilliantly together.

"It may have been for just five short weeks but it was eight intense games and they won twelve much needed points.

"What they have managed to do in a very short period of time is to get an immediate reaction from the players.

"How much of that was Hayden or Paul I don’t know but they are both strong, calm characters and they worked very well together so I guess it was the combination of the two of them.

"Hayden gave up a job at Watford to join us for what has been a difficult season for the club to say the very least.

"He has remained calm and supportive although there must have been days when he must have wondered what he had let himself in for. Thanks Hayden, I am very grateful.

"Paul has a big reputation in the game and I can confirm that it is well deserved.

"You would expect someone who has managed 750 league games to be knowledgeable and good at what they do but the way he thinks about the game and has used his experiences to evolve his methods is very inspiring.

"Coming to Colchester United could have been risky for Paul but he was always confident that he could help us and so it proved. Thanks Paul, I am very grateful to you too."

Meanwhile, Cowling has said he would not hesitate to give either Steve Ball or Wayne Brown another chance at being first-team coach in the future.

Ball left his position as head coach in February after a disappointing run of form, while Brown presided over nine games as the club's interim boss before Mullins took charge.

Cowling said: "My biggest regret has been the churn of first team coaches during the season. Steve Ball and Wayne Brown are excellent coaches who are Colchester United through and through.

"They have invested years of hard work into their coaching careers and their opportunities came at a time when everything was stacked against them.

"I should have set things up better for them so they could have succeeded but as it is, I feel I set them up to fail.

"It was not intentional of course, but with hindsight it was inevitable.

"However, they too would have learned a lot from those experiences - I’m determined to keep them both at the club and would not hesitate to give either of them another chance as first team coach in the future."