COLCHESTER United's Cohen Bramall says fellow defender Tommy Smith ‘is like a big brother’ to him.

The 30-year-old centre back is vastly experienced in the football league having played over 240 times in the Championship for Ipswich, plus playing in League for Brentford and the U’s when on loan in 2010-11.

He signed a two-year-deal with Colchester over the summer and has played in all 11 of their league games so far this season.

And Cohen spoke about how much the U’s vice-captain has helped him since he came to the club.

He said: “It was different at first because he Smudge (Smith) has been everywhere.

“But because he has been everywhere and in the games, we have played in so far this season, he is always talking to me.

“He is like a big brother to me, so I am buzzing to be playing with him.

He added: “He just constantly talks to me. We have connected on the pitch.

“If I misplace a few passes, he is always there and speaking to me well and giving me a confidence boost.”

Bramall, who is partway through his second season at the U’s was asked what he has made of his start to the season?

He has so far played in every game this season but has yet to get on the scoresheet.

But Bramall is confident he will open his account in this campaign soon.

He said: “I am not on the scoresheet yet.

“I’ve had a few free kicks and set pieces, but they have not been the best.

“However, I will just keep pushing and hopefully I will get on the scoresheet soon.”

Bramall did score two goals last season for Colchester and he explained how high he sets the bar for himself.

He said: “I ask a lot from myself, my standards are very high and if I don’t score a set piece or get it on target I will just go again.

“I am confident I will get on the scoresheet soon and the goals will come.”

The U’s are back in action tonight when they travel to Mansfield.

A win at the One Call Stadium could see them move into third place in League two and Bramall is expecting a tough game.

He said: “I think playing Mansfield on Friday is a good task for us, with the way they play.

“But we are in a good bit of form, the lads are buzzing and training has been great as well.”

Mansfield have struggled so far this season despite having players in the squad such as Nicky Maynard and James Perch, who have played in the Premier League in their careers.

That led to manager Graham Coughlan at the end of last month after a run of nine games without a win and with just three points to their name.

They then appointed Nigel Clough at the start of this month.

Since he took charge The Stags have won their last three games in all competitions.

However, Bramall has been surprised they are not right up with Colchester given their squad.

He said: “I think a lot of teams are surprised by where they are.

“They have a lot of good players and Nicky is still there and he can bang in a few goals.

“The setup is good there. But when we got there the pitch is big and it is made for us.”