FINALLY us Colchester United fans can breathe easily again.

Although the threat of relegation had subsided following the impressive displays against Walsall and Southend, it was still there going into the game against Salford City.

Southend and Grimsby had developed an annoying and rather uncalled for habit of suddenly remembering how to play football and picking up points.

But after another decent performance against play-off chasing Salford City, we can officially say WE ARE STAYING UP.

The win against Salford was another good all-round team performance in a game that ebbed and flowed, with both teams having the upper hand at times.

The thing that gave us the advantage was that – to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling – we kept our heads, when all around were losing theirs.

This was proven in the fact that Salford ended the first half with ten men and at full-time, only nine were left to leave the field.

It was testament to our players that they just walked away from any confrontation understanding what the game meant and how important it was to stand firm together and not see red, in both the proverbial sense and card form.

As for the U’s, as a result of a well-taken goal by second-half substitute Josh Bohui just five minutes after coming on, we earned the three points - and EFL football - next season.

Harry Pell was missing from the matchday squad along with Callum Harriott, both absent for personal reasons.

I hope that no matter what they are going through, they both have the time and space to deal with the bits and come back when ready.

In a day that not only saw us safe, there was also the sweet satisfaction of our result along with others condemning our Essex rivals to relegation to the National League for the first time in their history.

Not a bad weekend football-wise, after all that has gone on this season.

While there is justifiable relief and celebration of the fact we have avoided the dreaded drop into non-league obscurity, it is something that must be taken as a warning.

Had things panned out differently then who knows? It could well have been us waking up under the dark cloud of relegation.

While I am over the moon that we are safe, I’d rather this season serves as a lesson to all at the club, that we made mistakes and almost paid the price for this.

We have endured both on and off the field in this season of seasons with so many unprecedented challenges that Covid has brought our way.

Now we need to play the same decent football we have shown we are capable of against Tranmere on Saturday.

After that, we must really take stock of where we go from here to ensure next season is one of true celebration with a strong performance and hopefully promotion challenges, rather than just celebrating survival.

Once the season is over, I will share my 10p worth of what needs to be done over the summer but until then, let's win our last game of the season and finish on a high. Up the U’s.