HAYDEN Mullins insists he has always had final say on team selection and style of play during his time in charge of Colchester United.

Mullins was appointed as the U’s permanent head coach earlier this month, having successfully guided them to League Two safety during his eight-match interim spell at the helm.

Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling has stressed that the former Watford coach will have the freedom to set up his team the way he wants, next season.

The U’s owner insists that there will be no interference from elsewhere and Mullins says any external rumours that he might be told who to play or which formation to adopt are ‘nonsense’.

Mullins said: “In those last eight games, I might have had a conversation with a certain amount of people but the last part is me.

“We know about the young players – that’s us as a football club and I knew about that when I joined.

“It was similar at Watford as well with ‘are they picking the team?’ but it’s none of that.

“We get really, really good support here and there are a lot of people who are doing really good jobs.

“There are some really good people with good opinions that you have to lean on at times.

“Listen, if there was any point when we were going into the last eight games where I was being told what to do or who to play or what system to play, it would have been tough to do it!

“The interference thing and the rumours that you hear are nonsense - I think it’s a bit of a myth.”

Earlier this month, Cowling said that newly-installed head coach Mullins will be free to choose the way he approaches each specific game – with no interference from above.

“I don’t ring up managers and ask them who they’re thinking of playing and why.

“It’s not what it’s about and Hayden will have the freedom to play how he wants.

“What’s really important is if he’s bringing through a couple of players who are technical, he may have to have a different shape to suit them or if he’s bringing through some who are athletic, then that way.

“If we have to get a certain result against certain teams, why would you limit yourself by anything?”

Colchester return for pre-season training on July 1.

The fixtures for the new 2021-22 League Two season will be released on June 24.