TOMMY Smith insists there is a good foundation for Colchester United’s new head coach to work from – whomever it may be.

The U’s are looking to appoint a permanent first-team boss for next season, after interim head coach Hayden Mullins and first-team advisor Paul Tisdale led them to League Two safety.

Colchester finished the season well, claiming three wins from their final five games and taking 12 points from their last eight fixtures, under Mullins.

They also claimed back-to-back clean sheets to finish the season and experienced U's defender Smith says they have established a good base from which to work from.

He said: “Who knows what the future holds?

“If they (Mullins and Tisdale) are here next season, brilliant.

“Hopefully we can build on the platform that they’ve set for us, whether they are here or not.

“Whoever gets the job, there’s a good base there for them.

“There’s relief that we’ve got ourselves out of the mess we’ve put ourselves in.

“With the predicament we were in, we needed to address the fact that we were conceding chances first and foremost which obviously gives you the platform to go on and win games, which fortunately we have done over the last few weeks.

“It bodes well for next season, if we can continue in that sort of vein of form.

“It would put us in a much better position and much higher in the league standings but there are obviously still improvements to be made, at both ends of the pitch.

“But we’ll go away and reflect on all of that over the summer and hopefully come back an improved team.

“The improvement that we’ve made over the last few weeks has shown that we do have the potential to be up there with the play-off teams, next season.

“We’ll use the last few weeks as our benchmark and a platform to build from.”


Colchester were four points above the relegation zone with eight games remaining when Mullins was placed in temporary charge, at the end of March.

They were nervously looking over their shoulders but results after that picked up, eventually lifting them to a 20th place finish.

“It’s been good – you obviously enjoy it more when you’re picking up wins,” said Smith, who along with defensive partner Tom Eastman started all but one of Colchester’s 46 league games, this season.

“The experience Tis has brought has been vital and Hayden has done a brilliant job himself as well.

“They’ve done their job in getting us over the line.

“We were bereft of confidence when they came in.

“We were a bit more solid under Wayne Brown but just weren’t getting over the line and fortunately, when Hayden and Tis took over we managed to get a few results.

“It’s disappointing to be where we were a few weeks ago but it was always going to be a tough season with everything Covid-related going on.

“I think Robbie has done a fantastic job in keeping the club financially stable, in what is a very tough time for all businesses.

“Hopefully we can use the adversity from this season we’ve had in not wanting to be anywhere near the foot of the table again and use that as motivation to better, next season.”