CALLUM Harriott insists he is ready to thrive on the pressure of helping Colchester United preserve their Football League status - and fire them to League Two safety.

The 27-year-old winger was on target in the U’s 1-1 draw with Barrow on Easter Monday and has scored four of their last nine goals, as they battle to beat the drop.

Harriott is now Colchester’s leading league scorer with nine goals and is closing in on reaching double figures in a league season for the first time in his professional career.

The former Reading attacker says he is embracing the challenge that awaits the U’s, who are five points above the relegation zone with six games remaining.

Harriott said: “Pressure is good – I like pressure.

“You either come out and be a lion or you come out being sheep.

“We have six games to go now and we haven’t got time to dwell on things.

“We have to get ourselves right, go again and try to get a win.”

Harriott netted on his return to Colchester’s starting line-up, following a four-game absence due to his international call-up with Guyana.

But his well-taken first-half strike against Barrow was cancelled out by substitute Tom Beadling’s late equaliser, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

“Everyone was disappointed and we obviously set out to win the game,” said Harriott, who is set to make his 75th league appearance for the U’s when they visit Oldham Athletic on Friday night.

“The first half was a positive half from the boys and we created chances.

“I think we need to put those chances away but I thought the overall performance in the first half was really good.

“I was in the box and anything can happen in the box – you just have to be alive and I was there at the right moment and I put it in.

“The positive thing we can take from these matches is that we are in these areas and eventually, they do go in.

“But in the second half, I personally felt that we were too deep and gave them too much space.

“I didn’t think that they were a major threat and these things happen.

“They keep lumping it forward and played the long ball really – they didn’t really have anything and these are the games that we should be winning.

“We needed to kill the game off - now we need to go to Oldham and get a win.”

Harriott arrived back in the UK last Thursday, having played two World Cup qualifiers for Guyana against Trinidad and Tobago and Bahamas, in the Dominican Republic.

The winger said he relished playing international football, despite the gruelling travelling requirements.

Harriott added: “It’s an honour – I love it.

“I enjoy the football and the training; the intensity of it is really hard and it’s crazy hot but it’s good.

“We lost the first game against Trinidad (3-0).

“We sort of gave away the game to be honest, because we had chances to kill it off very early – we could have been at least 4-0 up.

“A few individual errors cost us the first game.

“We won our second game 4-0 (against Bahamas) and it should have been eight.

“One win and one loss and we have to go again.

“The travelling was horrific – I’m not going to lie.

“I hate long flights but once I’m there, I’m there.

“The jet lag was the toughest thing and it was tough getting back to sleep afterwards but I feel like I’ve got back into the routine now.”