WANDERERS’ next opponents Colchester United have changed their head coach for the second time in five weeks.

Hayden Mullins will now be in the dugout at the University of Bolton Stadium on Good Friday.

U’s chairman Robbie Cowling had put Wayne Brown in charge on February 23, replacing Steve Ball, but admitted in a statement on club’s the official website that the nine-game stint had “not worked out”.

Colchester are without a win in their last seven games and have dropped to 21st position in League Two – four points above the drop zone.

Mullins has served as assistant manager this season, having previously worked with the Watford Under-23s team.

The 42-year-old amassed more than 600 league appearances as a player with the likes of Crystal Palace, West Ham and Portsmouth.

Cowling’s statement read: "With just eight games of the season remaining and Colchester United still embroiled in a battle to steer clear of the relegation zone, I have decided to make a very tough decision to change the first team Head Coach for the second time this season.

“Wayne Brown has given his all to lift the club away from danger but his hard work, positivity and enthusiasm have not been rewarded with the results he deserved and the club needed. I can’t allow those poor results to eat away at the team’s confidence to beat the drop, which despite our position remains high.

“I would like to thank Wayne personally for all of his hard work. He jumped in to help me out when I needed him to and I’m very disappointed that things have not worked out.

“I have asked Hayden Mullins to take over the reins until the end of the season and I am pleased to say that he has accepted the challenge.

“I will provide a further update on who will be assisting him once that has been determined but I will be looking for someone with good managerial experience to not only assist Hayden, but to also mentor him over those eight games. I feel this combination will give us the best chance of achieving all of our aims.

“I would like to make it very clear though that this is Hayden’s gig. He will be the first team Head Coach and it will be him that makes the final decisions regarding the team selection and tactics.

“I would like to go on record once again to say that I take full responsibility for this season’s predicament. I made a number of financial decisions that I believed were needed during the pandemic and those decisions have had a negative impact on results. Had there not been a pandemic, I’m sure we would have been battling at the other end of the table.

“We are where we are. There is a pandemic and I have handled it the way I have. If we stay up, then the decisions I have made will set us up very well for the future and would be viewed as very sensible. If we go down, then they will be deemed as foolish.

“One thing’s for sure though, we will be fighting for every one of the 24 points that remain available to us."