Colchester defender Matt Heath has praised manager John Ward for bringing about a massive change at the club.
The Us under Aidy Boothroyd ended last season on a low as they suffered a dramatic loss of form which saw them miss out on the play-offs.
Boothroyd then left for Coventry in the summer to be replaced by Ward, who has lost just one of his opening 13 league games in charge.
Heath has now claimed the whole team is enjoying playing under the former Carlisle boss. He told the Colchester Gazette: "There's been a massive change from last season.
"The lads have taken to it very well and everyone's playing with a smile on their face. We're working hard in training but it's enjoyable, too.
"The style is different but the manager doesn't tell us to play in a particular set way. He just wants us to make the right decisions as players."