Time is tight

IF Colchester United want to appoint a new manager before the transfer deadline kicks in, then they will have to act fast.

Carl Marston

IF Colchester United want to appoint a new manager before the transfer deadline kicks in, then they will have to act fast.

The club's chairman, Robbie Cowling, and directors held a board meeting yesterday afternoon, to discuss the candidates to replace Paul Lambert, who resigned from his post a week ago to take over the manager's job at Norwich City.

The U's Chief Executive, Steve Bradshaw, initially outlined a two-to-three-week time-span, in which to appoint a new manager, rather than rush into any “knee jerk reaction” following Lambert's shock departure.

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However, there is a possibility that the process of choosing and naming a new manager could be hurried up, when considered that the transfer deadline is next Monday, and that the squad has been weakened by a number of player exits.

David Perkins' request for a transfer last Friday, on the eve of the 2-1 defeat at MK Dons, followed hot on the heels of midfielder Johnnie Jackson's move to Notts County and skipper Dean Hammond's switch to Southampton.

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Ex-Rochdale midfielder Perkins wants to return to his native north, having arrived for an undisclosed six-figure fee last summer.

Chief executive Bradshaw confirmed: “He (David) has found it very difficult to settle in the south of England, and therefore has submitted a formal transfer request.”

So suddenly, it has become necessary to strengthen the squad, as well as recruit a new manager.

Current caretaker boss, Joe Dunne, also suggested that the process might be “accelerated” following the events over the weekend.

Former player Paul Buckle, who has been strongly linked with the vacant post at the Community Stadium, has still not signed his new contract at Torquay United, to extend his stay as manager until the summer of 2011.

Buckle has given his players a three-day break, following Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Barnet, so his position could well become clearer during the first part of this week.

If the U's decide to stick to their original plan, and not begin to interview possible candidates until the end of this week, then that would appear to rule out 38-year-old Buckle, who is still under contract at Torquay.

There are a number of big-name managers currently out of work, including ex-Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd and former Reading manager Steve Coppell.

But the U's might also be prepared to give a less experienced managerial team a chance. Ex-U's midfield maestro Mark Kinsella, and former Ipswich midfielder Matt Holland, would fit into that bracket. Kinsella is currently the first team coach at Charlton, while Holland was released by Charlton over the summer.

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