Anthony Wordsworth progress delights Colchester United boss

Anthony Wordsworth
Wordsworth scored his seventh goal of the season on Saturday

Colchester United boss John Ward has praised the progress of Anthony Wordsworth, highlighting the maturity of the midfielder.

The 22-year-old U's youth product, who scored in Saturday's 4-2 win over Notts County, has played in every league game this season.

"Anthony's maturing now. He can play wide left, in the pocket and now in central midfield," Ward told BBC Essex.

"He's taken those little challenges from me and grown up with them."

Wordsworth's performance against the Magpies, his 143rd game in a U's shirt, was notable not only for his 49th-minute strike, but for his commitment in an unfamiliar role in central midfield.

"I think Woody's ready for that now, I told him so before the game, 'you're ready for that industry position now'," explained Ward

"We've got a very good young player there who's getting better all the time."

Wordsworth, who made his senior debut four years ago, added: "I've had to do a lot more defensive duties than I have in recent weeks.

"It was difficult. Seventy minutes in I was blowing a little bit. I had to grind through but hopefully I can get more games there.

"I'd like to think I'm an integral part of the side. I've played every game this season.

"I've got my share of goals and assists. The gaffer's said I'm doing well, and I'm sure if I can keep putting in performances I'll be part of this team."

Meanwhile, striker Steven Gillespie will be assessed after he was taken off with a hamstring injury at the weekend.

"What hurts us is Steven may not be available for some time," said Ward.

"It's something he's picked up before. How long it's going to be I don't know. It will be in the week when I answer that."