Colchester United head coach John McGreal has challenged his leading scorer Sammie Szmodics to add to his goal tally after a move away from the club failed to materialise in the transfer window.

Speculation had linked Szmodics with a move away from the Weston Homes Community Stadium, with the likes of Bournemouth, Norwich City and Millwall all linked with the former U’s youth-team product.

However, McGreal has revealed Colchester did not receive any firm offers for Szmodics, who has scored 13 goals this season.

And the U’s boss now wants the former Stanway School pupil to play his part in helping them move up the League Two table, in the final 16 games of the season.

McGreal said: “The challenge now for Sammie is to nail down his position and try and score more goals, because there are players in and around it now who want to play.

“We didn’t have a bid for Sammie – it was pure speculation.”

McGreal said Colchester did receive one bid for one of their players in last month’s window – but declined to reveal who it was.

“We did have one offer but it didn’t materialise - it wasn’t Sammie Szmodics but we’ll keep that all hush hush,” said McGreal.

Colchester had a busy transfer deadline day yesterday, bringing in Ben Stevenson, Liam Mandeville and Olamide Shodipo on loan and also signing Charlton Athletic youngster Aaron Barnes, who has since joined National League side Torquay United on loan.

McGreal said: “Overall, we’re delighted with the work that was done.

“There were whispers that we might lose one or two of our own players and we had back-up plans in place.

“But one or two that we were looking at also got away.

“We’ve been able to keep the boys that we’ve got and we’ve also been able to add to it.

“We missed out on one or two quality players who chose to move to League One and that was frustrating but I’m delighted with the business that was done.

“The business always seems to happen on the last day but now we know what we’ve got, it’s about picking the right system and the right team to go and win games of football.”