Freddie Sears says his recent injury lay-off has made him even hungrier to help fire Colchester United to safety.

The former West Ham United striker started his first game in six weeks, in the U’s 2-0 defeat against MK Dons.

Sears, who was the sponsors’ man-of-the-match against the Dons, admitted his spell on the sidelines with a knee injury left him frustrated.

But after returning to the fray, the U’s joint leading goalscorer is determined to play his part in their final two games and help them stay up.

Sears said: “I’d been waiting a while to start a game and when you’re injured, you realise how much you miss the game.

“You take training for granted a bit day in, day out.

“When you have a setback like that, it kind of gets you down a bit.

“But I’m delighted to be back now and I’m enjoying every single minute of every game.

“I’m still aiming for double figures and we still have two games to go."

See Thursday's Gazette for more on this story and all of the latest Colchester United news, including Duguid's Diary.