U’s striker Mandron never found the transfer speculation ‘unsettling’

Mikael Mandron, who is buzzing ahead of the new season, takes a tumble during the home defeat to Bar

Mikael Mandron, who is buzzing ahead of the new season, takes a tumble during the home defeat to Barnet last February. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Mikael Mandron, despite all the close-season speculation about his future, was adamant that he was always going to stay at Colchester United.

Mikael Mandron, in action during the U's away clash at Notts County last season. Here he battle with

Mikael Mandron, in action during the U's away clash at Notts County last season. Here he battle with Elliott Hewitt. The U's begin their new season at Notts County tomorrow. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Pagepix

Mandron had a good first season with the U’s, following his switch from Wigan Athletic last summer, after signing a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

The Frenchman, despite have a year left on his contract, attracted the attention of a few different clubs at the start of pre-season, most notably League One club Peterborough United in England, and FC Utrecht in Holland.

In fact, for a while it looked likely that the 23-year-old striker would be leaving Colchester, but that was never his intention, as he confirmed following yesterday’s training session at Florence Park, in Tiptree.

“There was speculation about my future this summer, but I have always been committed to this club,” insisted Mandron.

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“There was never any doubt in my mind that I would still be a Colchester United player for the new season. Obviously there was talk earlier in the summer, but again I knew I would still be a Colchester player.

“I didn’t find all the speculation unsettling, not in the least. Instead, I found it very flattering to have teams interested in me.

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“But I was always happy where I was, after what was a good first season for me at Colchester. I felt that I had a very positive season.

“I played most games, scored some goals, and even though the team did not achieve what we wanted to achieve, on a personal level I was happy with how it went.”

- U’s have fully fit squad for County opener

Mandron looks set to start at Notts County in tomorrow’s League Two opener, away at one of the promotion favourites, Notts County.

“I’ve got the same buzz for the start of this season, as I do every season,” continued Mandron.

“That’s what happens when you love football, you just want to get out there and get back into the competitive side of things.

“We’ve had a good pre-season, but that means nothing really. We just want to get off to a good start.

“I’m definitely feeling very positive. The new signings have given extra energy to the team, and things are shaping up very well.

“Freshness is always good, for any club, and we are working really well together, and pushing each other forwards. There’s strong competition for places, which is healthy. It keeps us all on our toes, and on our guard.”

Notts County narrowly missed out on promotion last term, drifting out of the automatic promotion picture during the final few weeks.

Kevin Nolan’s men finished in fifth spot, and were beaten by Coventry City in the play-off semi-finals – the Sky Blues went on to clinch promotion by beating Exeter City in the final.

Mandron said: “Notts County away is a great game to start the season, a great game.

“We want to start really well, that’s important, and it’s good to be facing such a big side. It means we can get into the thick of it, straight away.

“Pre-season doesn’t really mean anything, it’s in the league where it all counts.

“Of course I was delighted to score goals in pre-season. I scored seven in all, but now I want to take that into the season proper and improve on my 10 goals from last season.

“There’s a different atmosphere in pre-season. The crowd is not there, and there’s no real competition or any points to play for.”

The former Sunderland trainee scored 10 goals in 44 league appearances in 2017-18 – he only missed two league fixtures all campaign.

However, he only managed two goals in his last 21 outings, a lean spell stretching back to the end of December, which is something he wants to improve on.

“I definitely think that there is even more to come from me this season,” insisted Mandron.

“The first season at a new club is not always the easiest, because I think you grow into a club and become comfortable with the players around you.

“The club has also brought in some good players over the summer, including a couple of very experienced players in Harry Pell and Frank Nouble.

“I can definitely learn from them. They should help the whole team,” added Mandron.

Midfielder Pell, recruited from Cheltenham Town at the start of the summer, looks certain to make his U’s debut at Notts County tomorrow.

Ex-Ipswich Town front-runner Nouble and Wolves loanee Aaron Collins should also be in the squad, while another summer recruit, Luke Norris, could feature after recovering from a sore groin.

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