HAYDEN Mullins has been appointed as Colchester United’s new head coach.

The 42-year-old has landed the job on a permanent basis, having impressed while in interim charge in the final weeks of the League Two season.

His appointment has been confirmed at a press conference at the JobServe Community Stadium, this afternoon.

Mullins, working alongside first-team advisor Paul Tisdale, helped steer the U’s to Football League safety after leading them to three wins, three draws and two defeats in his eight games in temporary charge.

The former Watford caretaker boss had taken the helm in late March, with the U’s lying just four points above the relegation zone having won only one of their previous 25 matches.

Mullins had previously worked as assistant manager to Steve Ball, whom he now succeeds as Colchester’s head coach.

Earlier this week, U’s chairman Robbie Cowling praised the job Mullins and Tisdale did in leading the club to safety.

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.”

Mullins left Championship side Watford after four years to become assistant manager at Colchester, last September.

He had caretaker spells in charge of the first team at Vicarage Road last season, when both Quique Sanchez Flores and Nigel Pearson departed.

That included the final two games of last season, in the Premier League.

Mullins had progressed to become Watford under-23s manager.

He had moved back to that role following the appointment of Vladimir Ivic as Head Coach.

As a player, Mullins made almost 700 appearances across spells at six clubs, including Crystal Palace, West Ham United, Reading and Portsmouth.

He will now take charge of what is likely to be a much-changed Colchester squad for next season.

More than a dozen of the club’s first-team players are out of contract this summer, with several of them expected to move on to pastures new.