Drey Wright is more than capable of playing as a centre forward for Colchester United this season, according to head coach John McGreal.

Wright netted the U’s opener in their 2-0 friendly win over a West Ham United XI on Tuesday night, having played in a role just off main striker Denny Johnstone.

The 22-year-old has predominantly played as a winger for Colchester since making his professional debut for them, in 2012.

But Wright occupied a central role under McGreal last season and the U’s boss feels he is equipped to play there.

McGreal said: “We know that he can do it – he’s done it throughout the age groups and now he’s learning and getting better and better with each age game that he plays.

“We were a bit short in that position last season with the injuries we had to Kurtis (Guthrie) and Denny (Johnstone) up front.

“In the last two months of last season, Drey was one of the players who turned our season into that big push that we had at the end.

“He was a really big part of that, playing as a number nine alongside Ports.

“I thought Drey was fantastic (against West Ham), with his movement and his pace.

“He was just picking pockets and I thought his goal was a fantastic finish.

“It was a great ball by Tom (Lapslie), he pulled off the shoulder off the centre-half and calmly scored a goal.

“That’s what we’re looking for and asking Drey to do in training every day, to start adding more numbers alongside his name.

“He’s upped it and you could see he was starting to fatigue around the 70-minute mark, so it was a good time for him to come off.

“Hopefully, he’ll recover well and be OK for Braintree Town, on Saturday.”

McGreal was pleased with his side’s showing against a youthful West Ham XI, where goals at the start of each half from Wright and Johnstone made it four friendly wins out of four for Colchester, in pre-season.

“It was excellent - we know it’s a vibrant, young West Ham team and we knew that we’d be in for a more technical game tonight,” added McGreal.

“I thought our boys put in a terrific show and did the job and could have scored more.

“There were no ill effects apart from Tom (Eastman) who took a little wobble on his ankle, so we took him off as a precaution - we weren’t taking any chances.

“We wanted to get a lot of different friendlies in and get the boys who have been out injured more minutes under their belt, which is great for us.”