JOHN McGreal has revealed the main reasons for Callum Roberts' loan spell ending early and his return to his parent club Newcastle United.

The 21-year-old attacker returned to St James' Park yesterday, after he was recalled by the Premier League club.

Roberts, who had been due to stay at Colchester until the end of the season after joining them on loan in January, found his opportunities at the League Two club limited.

He made only three substitute appearances for the U's during his short time in Essex, with one of the main reasons for his lack of action the impressive form of Courtney Senior.

Roberts will not have his current contract renewed by Newcastle at the end of the season and U's boss McGreal has revealed the Magpies wanted him back to play for their under-23s for the remainder of the campaign, with a view to finding a new club in the summer.

McGreal said: “Cal was told the other week by Newcastle that he wasn’t getting a contract.

“His head went a little bit to be fair because I think he was thinking that there was a possibility of him getting a contract there.

“He’s been there all his career and played for them, this year.

“He’s come here and seen what Courtney Senior is all about.

“Of late, Courtney has probably been one of the players of the division, not just in our team.

“It’s been tough for Cal and he’s been away from home.

“He’s still got a bit of a sore ankle and he wants to get that right and I think Newcastle pulled him back to get him some training and get him into the under-23s and put a little bit into the shop window."

Roberts will be a free agent in the summer and boss McGreal has not ruled out a move for the attacker, once the current campaign is over.

“We know he’ll be out of contract and Newcastle have told him," added McGreal.

“We’d consider everyone in the summer because at this moment in time, recruitment drives and things are getting flagged up."