Sammie Szmodics admits Colchester United must keep their standards high heading into their League Two clash with Stevenage tomorrow.

The U’s produced an impressive performance against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup, despite falling to a narrow 2-1 defeat at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Colchester are looking for their first League Two points of the season, following their disappointing 3-1 reverse at Accrington Stanley on the opening day.

Szmodics, who scored the U’s consolation goal in that defeat, admits their performance was not good enough last weekend.

And having produced an improved display against Villa, the Colchester-born youngster says they must aim for an even better showing this weekend.

Szmodics told the Daily Gazette: “We’ve set our standards now.

“But just because we reached that level against Villa, it doesn’t mean that we want to stay there.

“We want to go further and we can’t drop below the standard we’ve set after Wednesday night.

“I feel that we all collectively and individually showed that we do want to work hard, against a Championship team.

“There were a few hundred that travelled up to Accrington and we hold our hands up and say “we weren’t good enough in all departments”.

“But we feel like Accrington ran more than us, worked harder and took their chances so against Villa, we felt that we owed something to the fans.

“I felt we worked harder than Villa but unfortunately, we didn’t come away with anything.

“We have to take the positives out of everything.

“I feel like we have to be more ruthless in both boxes and that’s including myself.

“I should have had two goals in the first half and the keeper pulled out a worldy, in the second half.

“All round, we felt it was a good day for us, even though we lost.

“We look forward to Saturday now because if we play like that, we’ll get the three points.”

Szmodics admits he thought he had helped Colchester take their tie against Villa into extra-time with a late wonder strike - only to be denied by a magnificent save by keeper Jed Steer.

Szmodics added: “I had a friend who was sitting in the South Stand and he said it took a deflection which had been taking it even more into the top corner - it was a fantastic save and I don’t know how he kept it out!”