Colchester United have begun the search for their fifth permanent manager in four years after parting ways with John Ward on Monday. Ward ultimately paid the price for the U's dire start to the new campaign, with his last match in charge a 1-0 defeat away to Scunthorpe. The 61-year-old leaves the Essex club third from bottom of League One and still searching for their first win of the season.
Ward was appointed Colchester manager back in May 2010, and during his time at the club led them to back-to-back top 10 finishes. The U's won just one of their final 13 matches last campaign, which cost them a place in the play-offs. This season they were dumped out of the Capital One Cup at the first hurdle before going on to draw their opening three League One matches. However, after taking just one point from their following four games, Chairman Robbie Cowling decided to wield the axe in an attempt to halt the slump.
Focus will now turn to Ward’s successor, with the Next Colchester United Manager Odds currently revealing that caretaker manager Joe Dunne is the early favourite for the job. Dunne, who made over 160 appearances during two spells at the club, is expected to be given a few games to prove himself. Meanwhile other contenders include Sean Dyche, Andy Scott and Kevin Blackwell.
Colchester host fellow strugglers Hartlepool on Saturday, with Bet365 installing them as the evens favourites to register their first win of the season. Meanwhile Hartlepool can be backed at 13/5 to come away with the win, with a draw available at 5/2.