Kevin Keen officially unveiled as new Colchester United manager

New Colchester United manager Kevin Keen, watching the U's at Rochdale alongside chairman Robbie Cow

New Colchester United manager Kevin Keen, watching the U's at Rochdale alongside chairman Robbie Cowling on Saturday

Kevin Keen has this afternoon been officially unveiled as the new manager of Colchester United.

Keen was at Rochdale on Saturday, sitting alongside U’s chairman and owner, Robbie Cowling, during the U’s 3-1 defeat.

He therefore saw, at first hand, the size of the task ahead to try and steer the U’s, who are now bottom of League One, away from the relegation zone.

The Essex club have lost their last seven league games on the bounce.

Former manager Tony Humes stood down on November 26, so it has taken 25 days to appoint his permanent successor.

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Caretaker manager Wayne Brown had been in charge for the last three games, after Richard Hall and John McGreal had overseen the first game, following Humes’ departure, a 5-1 defeat at Burton.

This will be Keen’s first senior managerial role.

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The 48-year-old has had four stints as a caretaker manager (one at Macclesfield and three at West Ham), and in recent times has worked under Steve Clarke at West Brom and Reading.

He was assistant manager at Reading, before departing when Clarke was axed on December 4.

Current Academy coach David Wright, who has also been manager of Maldon & Tiptree, has been named as Keen’s assistant.

Wayne Brown will revert to coaching the under-18s, and John McGreal will revert to his role with the under-21s.

Chairman Cowling said: “The timing was right with this appointment. Kevin (Keen) became available at just the right time, because I was always a little nervous of appointing externally.”

Keen said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead,

“Obviously the main aim is to keep the club in this division.

“I’ve seen the last two or three games, and I don’t think there is a lot wrong, although I have a few ideas about little changes to training, and little changes to the way we play.”

Keen’s first match in charge will be the Boxing Day home clash with neighbours Southend United.

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