COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal says he will not let his players rest on their laurels - least of all striker Luke Norris.

The front man has become a key member of the U's squad with eight goals so far, most recently netting in Saturday's 3-1 success against Crawley Town.

McGreal says the summer signing is a "terrific finisher" - and wants him to go from strength to strength and keep scoring the goals that push the U's up the League Two table.

“Luke will be the first to tell you I’m after him, because I look at the quality he’s got," said the U's boss.

“He’s a terrific finisher and we know he brings other players into play.

“But we want these players to improve and we want the whole package – they’re big investments for the club and that’s what we try and do."

Colchester will be hoping to build on Saturday's success as they continue their busy October with trips to Morecambe on Saturday and Grimsby Town on Tuesday.

They also have a home match against Lincoln City to look forward to before the turn of November.

“This month is an intense month, with seven games to play," said McGreal.

“It’s great that the games come thick and fast.

“Players will have knocks but it’s how we go about it and recover.

“When people come off the gas a little bit, because that will happen, or we have to rest one or two to keep them fresh, we need those players to back it up."

McGreal has been delighted with the form of two of his key defenders - Tom Eastman and skipper Luke Prosser.

Both have been pivotal figures in recent weeks.

“Tom was our Player of the Year, last year," said McGreal.

“He’s had to bide his time – he’s been playing games but the partnership between Frank (Kent) and Luke (Prosser) has been terrific with the clean sheets and the goals against record.

“But Tom’s come in and performed particularly well.

“That’s what you want from players who are sitting on the touchline biding time, they need that competition.

“As for Luke, having my skipper back definitely helps, because I think he’s been a terrific captain for me.

“We’ve missed Luke – he was out for 15 months but he had a good pre-season."

Meanwhile, in contrast to the more senior heads like Eastman and Prosser, McGreal says he has high hopes for the next batch of academy youngsters coming through the U's system.

“Diaz (Wright) is the elder one of the younger players we have and has been the next one to come along," he said.

"Since he’s come into the fold in pre-season, he’s done ever so well.

“We’re also looking at Ollie Kensdale now.

“He’s 18 years of age – some might be thinking it might be too soon but we believe in what we’re trying to do and he’s been training with us the last few months through pre-season and has been involved in games as well.

“Ryan Clampin is the other one pushing but, unfortunately, he’s had injuries that have set him back.

"Otherwise, he’d have definitely been in and around (the squad) it as well.”