Colchester United midfielder Tom Lapslie has revealed passing is an area of his game he has been working on after providing the assist for his side’s opener in their 1-1 draw with Port Vale.

Lapslie’s fine defence-spitting pass led to Sammie Szmodics giving the U’s the lead against Vale, before Marcus Harness equalised for Vale with 15 minutes remaining, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Lapslie has been more recognised for his tackling and tenacity than his creativity since he broke into Colchester’s first team but the midfielder says he is working on all aspects of the game.

Lapslie told the Daily Gazette: “Everyone wants to score goals and get assists but I suppose that’s the toughest part of the game.

“Obviously, I’d like to score more goals and more assists but ultimately, my job is to help the defence and stop goals from going in, as well.

“It was a good pass and Szmods has had a great touch and slotted it in.

“I bent it around the defenders – it’s not tough!

“I don’t know why I don’t do it every week!

“I’m always working on different aspects of my game and passing is one of them.

“It’s something I’d like to improve on.

“Everything needs work if you’re a footballer, even if you ask Ronaldo and Messi, I’m sure they’d say they need to work on things in their game.

“If you’re in the middle of the park you have to be able to do a bit of everything, unless you’re like a (Andrea) Pirlo who can pass the ball for fun and you don’t have to worry about defending.

“When I was younger, I watched the likes of Gerrard and Lampard who scored a lot of goals and could run box to box as well, so it’s all about being the complete midfielder.”

Lapslie says Colchester were disappointed not to have won their game against Vale – but admits the visitors’ point was merited.

“I think a point was probably fair in the end,” said the U’s stand-in captain, who also cleared an effort off the line against Vale.

“I thought that we were the better side in the first half – we dominated and could have maybe been two or three up but fair play to Vale, because they’ve come out in the second half and caused us a few problems.

“We dealt with it well the majority of the time but we were a bit disappointed with the goal we conceded.

“But you have to hold your hands up and give credit to the other team sometimes.

“They caused us a few problems and we were so deep, it was tough to get out and when we did we didn’t have much going forward in the second half.

“We were all a bit disappointed when we came in at the end, because we felt that we could have rode it out and won 1-0.

“But it won’t go our way every game this season and there are a million ways to win a game of football.

“It’s another point on our total and let’s see where it takes us.”