Free-scoring U’s eying up top three

Luke Norris, who is joint fourth in the League Two charts with five league goals. He has bagged six

Luke Norris, who is joint fourth in the League Two charts with five league goals. He has bagged six in all competitions. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Free-scoring Colchester United are eying up the top three, as they prepare for back-to-back home games against Bury and Yeovil Town over the next four days.

And the U’s certainly have the firepower to compete at the top, having already plundered 20 goals in their first nine league fixtures.

Boss John McGreal, even though he was a centre-half during his playing days, knows the value of having a potent strike-force, and his recruitment of front-runners Luke Norris and Frank Nouble over the summer, combined with the arrival of a goal-scoring midfielder in Harry Pell, is already having a huge impact this term.

“You need your strikers more than any other players, if you want to do something in this league,” admitted McGreal, ahead of today’s home clash against Bury.

“Our strikers are scoring goals. Frank (Nouble) got off the mark (3-0 home win over Cambridge), and Luke (Norris) has really hit the ground running for us.

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“Luke is a different type of striker to the ones we had at the club. He offers something different to Frank and Mikael (Mandron).

“His first goal was a poacher’s goal (in the 3-3 draw at Oldham last weekend) and his second was a clinical finish, getting around two defenders and burying it with his left foot.

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“We have tried to get that sort of striker to the club for a while.

“Pele (Pell) has been getting his goals from midfield as well, which is great so early on in his time with us.

“Frank, Luke and Pele were our three main targets over the summer – it was a case of identifying the type of players that we wanted, after others had gone out,” added McGreal.

The U’s have lost just one of their first nine league matches, and their current 16-point haul is the best since a 16-point start achieved by Steve Whitton’s squad of 2001-02, from 17 years ago.

They are fourth in the table, unbeaten on the road, and have won three of their first four home fixtures. And in Norris, who is joint fourth in the League Two goal-scoring charts with five goals (six in all competitions), they have an in-form front-man.

McGreal added: “We have to make the most of this period. We have to take the opportunity, and we will hope to make the most of these two home games.”

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