BLUES’ Essex rivals Colchester United are also on the look-out for a new manager after parting company with head coach John McGreal.

The U’s informed McGreal that his services would no longer be required, after just over four years in the hot seat at the JobServe Community Stadium.

And chairman Robbie Cowling is keen for the first team to work closer with the club’s academy.

In a statement, Cowling said: “I spoke with John McGreal 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.

“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.

“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.”