HAYDEN Mullins says Colchester United's back-to-back cup games are a positive distraction from their League Two push.

The U's travel to play Swindon Town in the Papa John's Trophy second round tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).

They follow that up with a FA Cup second-round home clash with League One high-fliers Wigan Athletic, on Sunday.

Colchester head to the County Ground in encouraging form following one defeat in their last six games in all competitions and boss Mullins is relishing the challenge ahead.

Mullins said: “It’s a game we want to win tonight.

“To win games and to keep unbeaten runs is what we’re here for.

“Swindon are a good side and a tough side but we’ll be going there with a lot of confidence.

“We’re excited about the Swindon game and we’re excited about the game against Wigan here on Sunday, in the FA Cup.

“They are different games and a bit of a distraction away from the league but it’s really good to be involved.

“We’re trying to gain a bit of momentum and put a bit of a run together.

“We’ve got two cup games now, which are good for us and we haven’t lost in the league for two games, so it’s something to build on.

“It’s one defeat in six and the last two games have been playing against top opposition.

“To beat Exeter in the way we did, I felt we left a lot on the pitch that night and it took us 45 minutes to really get started, against Newport but we showed what we could do in the second half."


Return - Colchester United's Alan Judge in action against Swindon Town in their goal-less draw in League Two, earlier this season Picture: RICHARD BALXALL

Mullins could recall playmaker Alan Judge to his starting line-up tonight.

The experienced midfielder made a positive impact as a second-half substitute in the U's 1-1 draw with Newport County, last Friday.

It was Judge's first competitive appearance since October 8, after he was sidelined with a calf injury.

Judge came on for Sylvester Jasper on the hour and provided the assist for Freddie Sears' equaliser.

Mullins added: “Judgey has been back in training for not too long now.

“We have to be careful with him.

“Sylv and Dobs will learn to try and replicate what they do – it’s a real skill and a real art of the profession to be a good pro and to try and be seven out of ten every week.

“If you can get to nine like Sylv did the other day and replicate a seven in the next game, you can get a real good career.

“I think Sylv and Dobs just felt the effects of the Exeter game against Newport as they put so much into it but I felt Noah (Chilvers) got stronger, which was a real positive."

Colchester are likely to still be without Brendan Wiredu, Ryan Clampin, Gene Kennedy (all knee) and Shamal George (ribs) at Swindon.