‘I have never felt so assured with our defence’ – Sammie Szmodics

PUBLISHED: 06:12 15 September 2018

U's attacker, Sammie Szmodics. Picture: STEVE WLALER

U's attacker, Sammie Szmodics. Picture: STEVE WLALER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Sammie Szmodics has revealed that Colchester United have set a target of “not to going out of the top seven” for the rest of this season.

The U’s are well-placed in fifth spot, after last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Tranmere Rovers, which stretched the U’s record to just one defeat in seven league starts.

Today, local rivals Cambridge United, with former U’s boss Joe Dunne at the helm, are the visitors to the Community Stadium for an eagerly-awaited East Anglian derby.

“We want to follow up our two recent away results with a home win,” insisted Szmodics, with reference to the 3-1 win at Cheltenham as well as the draw at Prenton Park.

Szmodics continued: “We are focusing on the top three, and if we do win this weekend, we could end up in there.

“Certainly, we have set a target not to go out of the top seven this season.

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“Personally, I have never felt so assured with our defence. I’m confident that Frankie (Kent), Tom (Eastman) and Luke (Prosser) are going to stop the goals going in, while at the other end we have scored goals from all over the pitch.

“That’s so different to last season, when it was only myself and Mikael (Mandron) scoring the goals. No one else got more than three or four goals,” added Szmodics, who was last season’s leading marksman with 13 goals.

Szmodics continued: “I’ve scored a couple and had a couple of assists this season, though I’m looking for a couple more.

“I had a meeting with the gaffer in the week, after the Tranmere game, because I should have scored inside the first 10 to 15 minutes. I’ve set myself some high standards and I would have expected myself to score that one.

“However, we have more options this season, in terms of goalscorers. I wouldn’t say the pressure is off me, as a result, because I want to keep scoring, but it helps having other players, even defenders like Ryan Jackson, getting among the goals.

“Last season, I felt that if I didn’t score, then no one would! But I don’t feel like that anymore,” added Szmodics.

Of his old boss, Joe Dunne, Szmodics added: “I’m sure he will get a good reception from our fans. I’ll always be thankful for what he did for me.”

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