WITH the superb home form that Colchester United have enjoyed this season, Sammie Szmodics admits that visiting sides are now approaching their trip to the JobServe Community Stadium with caution.

Exeter City will be the next League Two outfit to arrive in Essex looking to halt the U's on their own turf when the Grecians face Colchester there tomorrow.

Only two of the nine visiting sides - Northampton Town and Bury - have been able to prevent their hosts taking three points so far in League Two despite their best attempts to the contrary.

Szmodics said the U's have seen sides responding to their home record in how they have been setting up, but the Colchester striker knows they have the plans to counter whatever they come up against.

“Teams now seem to have game plans to stop us playing," he said.

“They've been sitting off us and letting us have the ball, whereas they used to high press against us.

“But we’re a passing team; if you high press us, we’ll pass around you and we work on things in training if teams sit off us.

“We have seen a massive difference with teams sitting off us and letting us have the ball, but we have so many game plans to get through teams.

“Our home form this season has been really good.

“We’ve slipped up a bit in the last few away games – one league and two cup games – but all the boys are pleased to be back at home.

“We’ll be back in front of our own crowd and looking for the three points.

“We’re looking out for the home games this season.

“Some of our away form has been excellent with how we’ve played defensively.

“We’ve slipped up in the last three games but confidence is high going into another home game.

“There’s almost an arrogance that we know we can score goals and we have been keeping clean sheets."

Colchester do come into the game against Exeter on the back of three back-to-back defeats on the road - two in cup competitions and a 2-0 loss in the league at Newport last weekend - and Szmodics said they are keen to get back in front of their own fans.

It was at this time last year that the 23-year-old enjoyed a particularly fruitful spell when he scored in four consecutive games in December to take the final League Two Player of the Month award for 2017.

Szmodics has six strikes to his name so far in the current campaign and he doesn't want a repeat of last year when the goals dried up after the festive period.

He added: “Last year, December was massive for me – I scored in every game and got the League Two Player of the Month award.

“Obviously I’m hoping to have another December like that, but I’m hoping to kick on a bit more after Christmas this year.

“I only scored one after Christmas last year and while I’m not saying I’m looking to balance all the goals out, it would be nice to kick on.

“I’ll look to get to ten, then 15 and then move on through the whole season."

Injury hampered his scoring opportunities at times last year, but the U's youth team product is also showing a maturer approach in looking after himself to allow himself a greater chance to keep finding the back of the net.

“I think this is the longest run I’ve had and I feel good at the moment," he said.

“I had a bit of a hamstring pull a couple of weeks ago but I’m looking after my body better now.

“I’m not exactly old – I’m only 23 – but it’s helping that I’m looking after myself and I’m getting more minutes under my belt.

“I used to think that I was young and I could just go out and play and train, but diet and sleep are so important.

“I thought I was just playing football when I was younger but it takes its toll and you need to recover right.

“That’s what I have changed.

“I’ve changed my off-field recovery with my eating and sleeping and I feel it is benefitting me."