In-form Colchester United attacker Sammie Szmodics has revealed his past injury woes are driving him on to success.

The 22-year-old has been in fine fettle for the U’s since returning from a spell on the sidelines, bagging five goals in his last six matches.

Szmodics is Colchester’s leading scorer with ten goals, despite missing six weeks of the season due to an ankle injury.

The former Stanway School pupil has suffered his fair share of injuries over recent seasons and suffered both a broken ankle and a broken leg, in the last campaign.

But Szmodics says the time he has spent battling back has made him even hungrier to perform well.

Szmodics said: “The injuries I’ve had are making me strive even more to do well.

“It also helps me help others like Luke Prosser who’s been out for so long – Brennan Dickenson and Kurtis Guthrie, as well.

“I’m only 22 and younger than they are but I’m always there as someone to talk to for them.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel for them – you have to believe in what you’re doing and in what the people at the club are doing to get them back out there.

“It’s horrible when you’re out injured, especially this time of year when you’re getting in at eight in the morning in the dark and leaving at four when it’s dark.

“People say that it’s a luxury lifestyle when you’re a footballer but when you’re injured, you’re in the gym.

“I was doing balance work on a wobbly board, throwing a ball at a wall all day just to build myself up.

“When you see the boys going out doing something that you like playing football, you’re happy for the team that they’ve won but you don’t really feel a part of it.

“It’s horrible but we have good staff here who keep everyone strong and that’s why we’re performing like we are on the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Szmodics says competition for places within the Colchester squad is bringing the best out of everyone.

The U’s are only out of the League Two play-off positions on goal difference and have lost just two of their last 13 league matches.

“It brings the best out of everyone, when there’s a fight for positions,” said Szmodics, who is four games short of completing a century of professional career appearances.

“We’ve got the depth in the team and when one player gets injured, we’ve got two or three who can step in and do a job and that’s what the boys have done.

“We’ve always got people coming back and it’s a big squad with players fighting for positions.

“We’ve got Brennan Dickenson, Luke Prosser and Kurtis Guthrie still coming back but no-one is expecting to just come back and walk straight back into the side.

“It’s good, because there’s so much competition and we’re all working hard to get into the gaffer’s XI.”