U's set to name Boothroyd as manager

AIDY Boothroyd is set to be unveiled as Colchester United's new manager tomorrow.

Carl Marston

AIDY Boothroyd is set be unveiled as Colchester United's new manager today.

Ex-Watford boss Boothroyd was at last night's Johnstone's Paint Trophy first round tie at Gillingham.

The 38-year-old arrived at the game an hour before kick-off, having also watched the U's home defeat to Leeds United on Saturday.

Manager-in-waiting Boothroyd sat alongside U's owner and chairman, Robbie Cowling, in the directors' box during last night's game.

Joe Dunne was in charge on a caretaker basis for the last time at Priestfield, after which Boothroyd is in line to become the permanent successor to Paul Lambert.

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Scotsman Lambert left the U's just over a fortnight ago, to take over as the new manager at Norwich City, since when speculation has raged as to his likely replacement. Boothroyd was always among the favourites, on the back of his excellent record at Vicarage Road - he masterminded Watford's fairytale promotion to the Premier League in 2005-06.

Installed as the Hornets boss at the age of just 34, after winning plaudits for his roles in the backroom staff at Norwich City (youth team coach for two years from 2001), West Brom (youth development officer and technical director) and Leeds (first team coach), Boothroyd did not take long to turn the fortunes around at Watford.

They won promotion from the Championship via the play-offs in his first full season. However, the Hornets were always likely to struggle in the top flight, with only limited funds and a small squad, and they were duly relegated the following season.

Watford looked set for an immediate return to the Premier League, when they quickly built up a nine-point lead after the first 12 games of the 2007-08 campaign. But results then took a dip and they were fortunate even to make the play-offs, where they were beaten by Hull in the semi-finals.

Boothroyd eventually left Vicarage Road on November 3, 2008, and has taken time to find new employment, perhaps not helped by a reputation for playing a very direct style of football. However, he is now about to embrace the challenge of plotting the U's route back into the Championship.