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Jon Waldron: My views on the U's
So what’s next for Colchester United ?
The popular Joe Dunne is favourite to be their next manager, following the team’s dire start to the season which cost John Ward his job.
Dunne is highly respected; he is a young, hungry coach with bright ideas and a thirst for knowledge, who over the years has travelled the world to better himself.
With Colchester failing to win any of their opening nine competitive fixtures, the writing was sadly on the wall for Ward.
It has been the U’s worst start in history and with unrest growing among the fans, chairman Robbie Cowling simply had to act.
But it was not just what has happened on the pitch over recent weeks that has led to Ward’s departure.
Colchester have won only one of their last 22 competitive fixtures.
Admittedly, 13 of those games ended in draws but that statistic might have also led to Ward’s demise, less than 48 hours after his 100th league game in charge of the club.
Many fans felt that he was not adventurous enough and was overly-cautious with his tactics.
Over recent games, he chopped and changed with his line-up and did not appear to know his best formation.
But it should be remembered that Ward’s performance as U’s manager prior to the current campaign was solid, if unspectacular.
He led Colchester to two successive tenth-place finishes in the two full seasons he was in charge at the Weston Homes Community Stadium , having been elevated from assistant manager to succeed Aidy Boothroyd in the hot seat in May, 2010.
Ward was also fully behind Colchester’s drive to bring through fledgling players in the local area, a mission that is on-going.
It is hoped that the fruits of his labour will be recognised in the coming years, in the shape of young players flourishing for their home-town club.
But cuts to the budget have made Ward’s primary role of managing the first team more difficult over recent months.
Cowling’s transparency regarding the size of the playing purse may put some potential candidates off.
And even if he had the cash to do so, the U’s supremo will probably be reluctant to risk making an external appointment in the mould of a Boothroyd or Paul Lambert, who deserted him over recent years.
For now at least, Cowling will be looking to Dunne to lead the U’s up the table.
And while he was a big part of the previous regime, make no mistake - Dunne is his own man.
Dunne previously stepped into the breach after Lambert walked out on the club and promptly guided Colchester to an emotional victory over Gillingham, in his first game as caretaker boss.
How Colchester would dearly love him to do the same this weekend against Hartlepool United and secure that elusive first win of the season.