FRANK Nouble says he had ‘no hesitation’ in returning to Colchester United and playing his part in their League Two play-off mission.

Nouble is preparing to take on Exeter City tonight in the U’s semi-final first leg, having been one of four senior players told by the club in April that they would not have their contracts renewed.

Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling was forced to make some tough decisions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic with Nouble, along with Luke Prosser, Ryan Jackson and Brandon Comley, informed that they would not be offered a new deal.

However, despite his uncertain future, Nouble insists he had no qualms about returning when the U’s reported back for training at the start of the month.

And now the experienced forward is striving to help John McGreal’s side gain a positive result in tonight’s first leg at the JobServe Community Stadium to take with them to Exeter, next Monday.

Nouble said: “I had no hesitation in coming back for the play-offs.

“I was devastated when I got the news (about the contract) and as soon as I heard there was a chance of playing, for me it was a win-win situation.

“It’s a win for me to be playing in the play-offs for Colchester and as much as I want to still be here, it’s also a chance for me to be in the transfer window and showcase my talents.

“If I stayed (at Colchester) beyond this season, I’d be delighted.

“The manager has been brilliant with me since I arrived here and I think I’ve paid him back with a lot of my performances.

“I didn’t play in the game there so I’m hoping to give them something different to think about.

“It’s up there as one of the biggest games of my career.

"But you can only judge these games by the success you have and how well you do.

“I’ve playing in big games where there’s pressure before.”

Colchester will be looking to make the most of being on home soil tonight but will be playing in a near-empty Community Stadium, with the contest being played out behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nouble says it is a shame not to have the U’s fans cheering them on in the stadium – but is still determined to make their home advantage count.

“I think it will be prominent in our minds when we’re playing but not now,” added Nouble.

“It’s still an advantage for us to be at home because we’re strong there and whatever the situation is, we’ll deal with it.

“Exeter are a good team and I believe we’re the best two teams in the play-offs.

“It’ll be a tough game but it’s about us and we’re looking forward to it.

“It would mean the world to us all to go up.

“We’re feeling very good – we’re all very excited and looking to kick on now.

“We’re all looking forward to playing in a competitive atmosphere again.

“It’s been a long time without playing, with it being three months out.

“It’s a massive game and we can’t wait to go out and play our game.”