ROBBIE Cowling says appointing Hayden Mullins as Colchester United’s permanent new boss was an ‘easy decision’.

Mullins has been handed the U’s head coach role on a permanent basis, having impressed in interim charge in the final eight games of this season.

The 42-year-old worked alongside advisor Paul Tisdale in the final weeks of the League Two campaign.

Tisdale has now departed and U’s owner and U's chairman and owner Cowling said he had no hesitation in giving Mullins the job on a permanent basis.

Cowling said: “I’m delighted for Hayden.

“When Hayden came into the club, he understood what we do and that – perhaps not expecting it to be as quick as this – there would potentially be an opportunity for him.

“We owe it to Hayden to be true to what we are as a club and what we do.

“He’s shown what he can do and now he’s going to get the chance to really show it.

“The other thing is, Paul Tisdale played a big part and a lot of people would have seen him in the frame too.

“But Paul has got plenty of opportunities out there and there are a lot of jobs out there at the moment.

“We want to get on with it; we’ve done a lot of work towards recruitment, we know what we want to do and we want to get on with it now.

“We’ve got somebody who ticks all of the boxes – he’s doing the job and doing it well so it really wasn’t a difficult decision to make.

“It was a very easy one.

“Hayden picked up the role when we had eight games to go.

“He picked it up in a really difficult situation and then managed to average 1.5 points a game under those difficult circumstances, which got the club out of trouble and continued to keep us in the Football League.

“As a club, we do like to promote within – Hayden completely gets the club and he knows what we’re trying to do.

“He understands the way we work as a club.

“We try to promote our youngsters and we also try to promote our young coaches as well so it picks perfectly for us.

“Hayden brings with him a lot of experience from the Premier League where he’s played and he was at a big club in Watford as well, where he’s done a lot of his coaching.

“He ticks a lot of boxes and we’re delighted to have him as our first-team coach.”

Mullins arrived at Colchester last September, after being appointed as Steve Ball’s assistant.

But having served as a number two alongside Ball and briefly Wayne Brown, the former Watford caretaker boss stepped up to take interim charge in the final weeks of the season, leading them to League Two safety.

“We’ve tried to create an environment at the club where people can come in and thrive and we’re going to give them opportunities when they’re there and if they do well, we’re going to reward them for that,” said Cowling.

“That’s exactly what Hayden has done.

“Of course, it’s tinged with a bit of disappointment because Hayden has got his opportunity because perhaps others haven’t been able to do it.

“But where Hayden touched on the recruitment that has gone on, I have to give some credit to Steve Ball on that one, because this is what you get from people like him and Wayne (Brown).

“Even though it hasn’t worked out for them they’re loyal to the club and they’ve been working tirelessly, Steve in particular because he did it before Wayne, in going out and identifying what we’re going to need to make sure Hayden is a success.

“That’s how much they care about the club, so we’ve got that in the club.

“That’s probably important for Hayden, to want to do this role, to see that the club backs people and tries to do the best.

“I’m really, really pleased because you want to see people do well.

“I get no bigger buzz than seeing young players and young managers come in and do well.”