COLCHESTER United defender Tommy Smith believes he has joined a club that "does things properly and the right way".

The former Ipswich Town man penned a two-year deal in August and has started all five of the U's opening League Two matches.

He has helped his new team make an unbeaten start to the campaign - winning one and drawing four - and will be keen to stretch their proud record at Carlisle United on Saturday.

New Zealand international Smith is enjoying his time at the Jobserve Community Stadium, having previously been on loan in 2011.

He said: “The style of football was one of the reasons I wanted to come here.

“I had some really positive conversations with the manager about the way he wanted to play and the way he saw me in that.

“We saw that in spells in pre-season against really tough teams like Reading and Portsmouth.

"Both are very good teams in their respective leagues and we matched them for large parts of those games."

Smith is a product of Ipswich's academy and won the club's young player-of-the-year award for the 2006-07 season.

He signed a three-year professional contract in August 2007 and went onto have loan stints at Stevenage Borough and Brentford before his first spell with the U's.

After leaving Ipswich in 2018, he played for Major League Soccer side Colorado Rapids before returning to England and signing a short-term contract at Sunderland in February.

However, due to the early suspension of last season due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, he did not make an appearance for the club.

Now he finds himself at Colchester and says it is a family-orientated club "run by the right people".

“There are no players still here from when I was on loan but there are a few staff members still floating around," said Smith.

“It’s really nice to have those familiar faces there to help you settle in.

“It’s a family-orientated club and they do look after those from within.

“I wanted to come to a club that does things properly and the right way and has the right people running it and that was a big factor for me."