THERE will be two very good reasons for Colchester United fans to keep an eye on Friday's Sky Bet League Two monthly awards for December.

The U's have boss John McGreal included in the list of nominees for the Manager-of-the-Month award, while Sammie Szmodics is in the list of nominations for Player-of-the-Month.

December was successful for Colchester as they went through the final month of 2017 unbeaten, with wins against Exeter City, Swindon Town and Crawley and draws against Chesterfield and Port Vale giving them 11 points from a possible 15.

McGreal has won his place on the shortlist after extracting mature performances from a side with an average age of just 23 as he led them into contention for the League Two promotion race in the second half of the season.

Also in line for the monthly managerial award are Neil Aspin of Port Vale, Luton Town's Nathan Jones and former Braintree Town and now Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley.

But McGreal's nomination is not the only interest for the U's as Szmodics' performances in December have earned him a spot in the Sky Bet League Two Player-of-the-Month shortlist.

The 22-year-old former U's trainee played in all five of the U's games in the month, scoring five goals, including a brace in the 3-1 win against Exeter.

It is form like that that has seen Szmodics become the subject of transfer speculation this week, with Premier League AFC Bournemouth reported to be lining up a £1 million offer.

Also in the monthly player shortlist are Morecambe striker Callum Lang, Lincoln forward Matt Rhead and Luton defender Alan Sheehan.

The winners of both monthly awards are due to be announced on Friday.