John McGreal admits Colchester United knew they had to strengthen their attacking options, this summer.

The U’s have boosted their firepower ahead of the new League Two campaign, signing Frank Nouble from Newport County, Swindon Town’s Luke Norris and Aaron Collins on loan from Premier League new boys Wolverhampton Wanderers.

They will compete with Mikael Mandron, Sammie Szmodics and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe for a place in Colchester’s attack.

Colchester’s final tally of 53 goals was the sixth lowest in the division last season and with the likes of Kurtis Guthrie and Denny Johnstone having moved onto pastures new, boss McGreal knows they had to draft in reinforcements in the attacking area.

McGreal told the Daily Gazette: “With Kurtis (Guthrie) being injured for the majority of last season, we generally had Mika up top on his own with Szmods, who had his injuries as well.

“We just had the two players who reached double figures last year, whereas the season before, where we had a successful time, we had four who did it.

“It was an area where we felt we needed to strengthen not only at the club but you also get a feeling from fans at times, with us just having that one central striker.

“With the addition of Frank and Luke, it gives us that level of competition in that area and we can adapt our style of play as well from what we were playing towards the end of last season.”

Colchester have brought in three players from League Two rivals this summer, having snapped up Nouble, Norris and midfielder Harry Pell, from Cheltenham Town.

They have also signed Collins, goalkeepers Bailey Vose and Ethan Ross and young defender Noah Chesmain from Millwall, along with welcoming defender Aaron Barnes who joined in January but spent the second half of the last campaign on loan at National League club, Torquay United.

“They’ll be huge assets for the club,” added McGreal.

“There were a lot of clubs in for them and a lot of players don’t want to play in division two for some unknown reason.

“It’s been a hard sell with a couple of them but it’s worked out fantastic for us.

“We wanted players to improve us and there should be an excitement about the fans – I know we’re certainly excited that we’ve been able to get these players.

“We’ve looked at the personality of our signings and their age bracket.

“They’re at a great age with good experience and they bring goals, which is the big thing and a physical presence. That’s another big thing that we haven’t had, of late.”