NEW Colchester United head coach Hayden Mullins has revealed he has spoken to former Premier League boss Craig Shakespeare as he embarks on his first permanent managerial role.

Mullins worked at Watford with Shakespeare, who had a spell in charge of newly-crowned FA Cup winners Leicester City in 2017.

The pair were on the coaching staff together at Vicarage Road last season, where Shakespeare was assistant manager to Nigel Pearson and Mullins worked as under-23 coach.

Mullins, 42, said he has spoken to Shakespeare, who is currently working alongside Dean Smith at Aston Villa.

He has also spoken with the vastly-experienced Paul Tisdale, who worked as first-team advisor at the U's for the final eight games of this season, with the pair steering the club to League Two safety.

Mullins said: “I’ve spoken to a couple of people that I’ve worked with.

“I spoke to Craig Shakespeare and we had a conversation – he’s always a good sounding board for me.

"There are some other people who are on the end of the phone, if I do need to talk to them.

“Not forgetting Tis was here – he worked with us and was a fantastic sounding board as well."

Mullins has revealed he has been speaking to 'a couple of people' about becoming his assistant at Colchester.

The new U's boss is looking to appoint a number two to work alongside him, next season.

He said: “We’ve been speaking to a couple of people about the assistant manager role and that’s in the background at the moment.

“There’s a couple of people that we’re going to have a chat to."

Meanwhile Mullins says his squad should also take credit for their performances and results, in the final eight games of the season.

Mullins, working alongside Tisdale, took interim charge with Colchester sitting four points above the relegation zone, having won only once in 25 matches.

He made changes to the side and switched to 4-4-2, pairing Frank Nouble and Michael Folivi together up front.

The result was a return of 12 points out of a possible 24, helping Colchester secured their Football League safety.

Mullins said: “There were certain things that we had to look at and tweak.

“In the first two games we looked at, we needed a bit of support with Frank (Nouble).

"So we looked at that and tweaked it to put a bit of pressure on our opponents’ backline high up which helped.

“The lads at the back helped us concede less shots which was really good and the momentum kept going.

“We got the results that we needed – we had some really good results in that run and that was fantastic.

“It depends on the group that we get in, next year (about how much is changed).

“We’ll have a look and if there are bits that we have to run with, we will and it depends on what group we have.

“I can’t just sit here and say everything was mine in those last eight games – the players were fantastic."