COLCHESTER United’s wing wizard Callum Harriott will be playing at a higher level than League Two again ‘sooner rather than later’.

That's the view of U’s head coach John McGreal, who also believes the skilful attacker can play a big part in helping them achieve their target of a top-seven finish, this season.

Harriott has been an eye-catching performer for Colchester this season after joining them on a two-year contract last summer, following his departure from Reading.

And the 25-year-old will be hoping to light up the JobServe Community Stadium again when the U’s host promotion rivals Cheltenham Town tomorrow.

McGreal said: “Callum will be playing at a higher level, sooner rather than later because of what he brings.

“He’s a Championship player who has needed game time because he’s been injured and you can see the qualities he’s got.

“He’s been brilliant and he’ll be brilliant for us, for the end of the season.”

Harriott will be hoping to shake off an Achilles injury sustained in Colchester’s 2-1 win at Salford City, last weekend.

The former Charlton Athletic youngster limped out of the action following an over-zealous challenge from Ammies defender Ibou Touray, who was duly booked.

“Callum is going to get kicked – he’s been kicked since the very first day,” said McGreal.

“It was the same when he was here a few years ago because he was hitting good numbers and you become a target, in that position.

“He’s in his mid-20s now and he’s dealt with that before and he’ll have to deal with it again.

“At this time of the season – the money end of the season – you’re never going to be 100 per cent fit.

“You’re always going to have a niggle, a cough, a cold or a sneeze.

“We’ve had to look after players like Callum and Kwame (Poku).

“Callum has missed two years of football and Kwame is 18 years of age.

“We’ve had to move them around at the right time but as you could see (at Salford), they’re two boys in form and I think we handled it quite well.

“We’ve been able to tailor one or two training sessions to help them, because two years out of the game is a long time.

“Callum’s come in and played consistently and not broken down, whereas in the early part of the season he regularly had niggles - we’ve been able to manage those better.”

Colchester midfielder Tom Lapslie is expected to return to first-team training today.

The 24-year-old has been sidelined since suffering a knee injury in the U’s under-23 game against Ipswich Town, at the start of the month.

McGreal said: “Tom will be looking to train back with us (on Friday).

“He’s been able to do all of his work and he’s been able to progress quite well.

“He hasn’t had a training session with us for a number of weeks but he’ll be looking to try and get back involved in training again (on Friday).

“We’ll then see how he is after that and how he reacts to that.

“He’s been to see the specialist and the specialist has come back with the programme.

“He’s been going through the programme with the sports scientist and now the next stage is to train with the first team.”