COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal admits he would not be surprised if Sammie Szmodics attracts interest in the January transfer window.

But the U’s boss insists he is fully confident the club’s joint leading scorer has the mentality to deal with any speculation linking him with bigger clubs.

Szmodics, who was linked with a big-money move to Premier League club AFC Bournemouth in the last January window, has been in fine form over recent weeks and has bagged three goals in his last four matches for Colchester.

The 23-year-old’s eye-catching performances have led to him being nominated for the League Two Player of the Month award for November and boss McGreal is not surprised the Colchester-born youngster is attracting attention.

McGreal said: “I would expect interest, as we have done throughout.

“For a goalscoring number ten as Sammie Szmodics is, proven year after year at this level, he’s going to get called upon and speculated about and also nominated for awards.

“I think that’s two or three times now he’s been up for the Player of the Month award.

“Sam is a level-headed boy and he continues to work hard.

“If you look at what he does on the pitch, you know what you’re going to get from him.

“He’s going to work ever so hard, get into goalscoring positions and more often than not, take them.

“He needs to keep getting into those areas for his continued development and I think he’s got a great shots to goals ratio, this season.

“As a number ten, that’s excellent and he’s joint top scorer with eight with Luke Norris, who’s been out.

“He’s had a very good partnership with Mika (Mandron) and they’ve dove-tailed really well.”

McGreal has revealed he spent time with his former Ipswich Town boss George Burley during Colchester’s recent fixture break.

The ex-U’s manager coached McGreal between 2002 and 2004 at Portman Road.

“George has been there and done it at international level, won promotions and managed abroad, so it was a great hour to have an hour with him,” added McGreal.

“If I can just get ideas and keep myself learning and taking little bits from people, that’s the best way to keep improving as a manager.”