‘His reputation is getting bigger and bigger’ – U’s boss McGreal on match-winner Szmodics

PUBLISHED: 23:10 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 23:10 27 November 2018

U's boss John McGreal

U's boss John McGreal

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Colchester United manager, John McGreal, declared tonight’s terrific 1-0 away win at Forest Green Rovers as a “classic away performance.”

Sammie Szmodics, left, who scored the winner at Forest Green Rovers. Frank Nouble got the assist. Picture: STEVE WALLERSammie Szmodics, left, who scored the winner at Forest Green Rovers. Frank Nouble got the assist. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Sammie Szmodics netted the winner with a clinical shot in the 25th minute to cement the U’s position in third slot, in League Two.

“It’s a great way to summarise the game, by saying it was a ‘classic’ away performance,” enthused McGreal.

“I thought we started really well. Forest Green had a tactic of sitting off us, and giving us the ball, and we were able to play then and get into the game.

“We got a good goal, then they’ve changed it and given us a little bit of a high-press.

“And then after that, I thought some of our defensive work in the second half, while keeping our defensive shape, was excellent.

“I thought we were also very dangerous on the counter-attack, and if anything we were a bit wasteful really, because I thought we had one or two opportunities in the second half which we could have taken.

“We didn’t manage to do that, but I didn’t feel under any sort of pressure at all. I thought Luke (Prosser) came in (following suspension) and marshalled his back four, and the people in front of him, very well, and of course it was a great clean-sheet for (keeper) Dillon (Barnes).

“Forest Green had a lot of the ball in the first half, and then we had the key moment in the game which we were able to take, with the goal. We hadn’t been able to take those chances in recent weeks.

“And it’s another crisp finish from Szmods (Szmodics) into the bottom corner.

“The way he is going at the moment, his reputation is getting bigger and bigger because not only do you look at the goals that he has scored, but also the defensive side to his game and also his work ethic is off-the-scale.

“It was a great performance from Sammie, but not only by Sammie – it was a great performance by the whole team.

“I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but you look at his partnership with Mikael (Mandron) last year – it was terrific with the goals that they scored.

“Mikael does a lot of work for Szmods to take the plaudits, having come into the team for the last two games. He hasn’t got the rewards that his work-rate has deserved, but Sammie has,” added McGreal.

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