“It’s a time for reflection” – Colchester United boss Tony Humes

Tony Humes, celebrating his team's 1-0 win over Preston on the final day

Tony Humes, celebrating his team's 1-0 win over Preston on the final day

It has been full-on for Colchester United manager, Tony Humes, during his first eight months as a Football League manager.

No wonder, then, that the 49-year-old has enjoyed his last few days, with the pressure finally off.

The threat of relegation was a constant fear for Humes, following his appointment to the U’s hot seat, in succession to Joe Dunne, on September 1.

But his team finally managed to avoid the dreaded drop, on the final day of the season on Sunday, thanks to a dramatic 1-0 home win over promotion-chasing Preston, while relegation rivals Crawley and Notts County both lost, to be sucked into League Two.

Since that magical afternoon, Humes has had time to reflect on his first season at the helm.

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“It’s been a little more sedate this week, than in previous weeks!” admitted Humes.

“It’s a time for reflection, and to see how we can move the club forward.

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“I’ve been able to switch off a bit, in the last few days, and it’s been made easier by the last result going our way. There have been a lot of smiles on people’s faces.

“The whole day was great, and you have to enjoy those moments in football.

“The stadium was rocking. In fact, you look at the last four or five games at home, where for the majority of the time there has been a good atmosphere. The fans have got behind the players.

“We were unbeaten in our last five games, which is amazing when considered that earlier in the season we were scratching our heads, wondering where we were going to get our next home win.

“You couldn’t see that happening, with the last few fixtures that we had, so it’s a testimony to everyone that we managed to stay up.

“It all came together at the right time,” added Humes.

The U’s only won seven of their 23 home league games, but they finished with a flourish by winning three and drawing two of their last five home fixtures.

Humes explained: “We managed to get a settled side towards the end of the season.

“The last 10 games were very, very good, and for a team who had to scrap to stay up on the final day of the season, it was probably as good a finish as any in the division.”

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