Ward and Colchester part

  • Last Updated: September 24 2012, 17:06 BST

Colchester United have parted company with manager John Ward after a poor start to the League One season.

John Ward: Leaves Colchester

The U's are yet to win in eight games in 2012-13 and they sit in the bottom three with only four points to their name.

Ward steered Colchester to top-10 finishes in his first two seasons in charge and chairman Robbie Cowling said it had been a difficult decision to make.

Cowling said in a statement on the club's official website: "In so many areas, John Ward will leave Colchester United in a better position than when he first took over.

"So much of Colchester United is better than it has ever been, but sadly that is not being reflected in first team results and the board has decided that this action is required to stop the negativity of the on-field results impacting on the other areas of the club that have also been drastically improved.

"I would like to thank John for his time in charge. He has done more for Colchester United than many people realise, and the board of Colchester United and especially myself would like to wish him all of the very best for the future.

"Joe Dunne has agreed to take over in the short term and I am sure that everyone will give Joe their full support."

Sky Bet make Dunne their 4/1 favourite to be the next permanent manager of the club, with former Watford boss Sean Dyche one of three men available at 8/1.

Steve Cotterill and George Burley are the others available at single-figure prices, with Andy Scott 10s and both Nicky Forster and Terry Brown 12/1.

Click here to bet on the next Colchester manager with Sky Bet