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Former Town defender McGreal sacked by Colchester as another ex-Ipswich player is favourite to replace him

PUBLISHED: 09:18 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:48 14 July 2020

Colchester Team Manager John McGreal pictured during the post match press conference after his side had knocked Tottenham Hotspurs out of the Carabao Cup on penalties.  Picture: STEVE WALLER    WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Colchester Team Manager John McGreal pictured during the post match press conference after his side had knocked Tottenham Hotspurs out of the Carabao Cup on penalties. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Former Ipswich Town defender John McGreal has been sacked by Colchester United.

John McGreal applauds the travelling fans at Old Trafford Picture PagepixJohn McGreal applauds the travelling fans at Old Trafford Picture Pagepix

McGreal had been in charge at the Essex club for the last four seasons, having previously worked in the club’s academy, and had led the U’s into the League Two play-offs last season before losing out to Exeter in the semi-finals.

However, chairman Robbie Cowling has decided a change of head coach is needed.

He said: “Colchester United are seeking a new first Team head coach.

“I spoke with John McGreal on Friday (July 3) to explain that the club is going to be implementing a new plan that will see the first team being even more tightly aligned to the academy and that I along with my three other directors, (Tony Humes, Tony Ashby and Jon De Souza), felt a change of first team head coach was required if our new direction was to be successfully implemented.

Wayne Brown is the bookies' favourite to take the Colchester United job.       Picture: Steve Waller        www.stephenwaller.comWayne Brown is the bookies' favourite to take the Colchester United job. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

“This was a very tough decision for a number of reasons, but not least because John has been first team head coach for the last four years.

“This last season has been one of the club’s best seasons for a number of years and John should be very proud of his time in charge of the first team.

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“However, the club is not only facing a number of unprecedented challenges but also some unprecedented opportunities and myself and the other directors believe significant changes are required that will be best served with a new head coach.

“John has done a great job for Colchester United and I wish him well for his future.”

McGreal has previously been linked with the vacancy at Tranmere Rovers, where he was a successful player before joining Ipswich in 1999, with the Merseyside club looking to replace Micky Mellon following his departure for Scottish club Dundee United.

It remains to be seen where Colchester turn as they search for a new head coach, though it’s understood an internal appointment could be on the cards.

A leading candidate is likely to be McGreal’s former assistant, Steve Ball, who has a long association with the club and, like McGreal, has previously worked in the club’s academy.

Another is former Ipswich defender Wayne Brown, who has worked in the Colchester youth system in the past and was in charge of Maldon & Tiptree last season as the non-leaguers made it to the second round of the FA Cup, beating Leyton Orient along the way.

Colchester and Maldon have strong links, with many of the U’s’ young players turning out for the non-league side.


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