Joe Dunne has left his role at Colchester United by mutual consent.

Dunne has departed his position as U's manager after nearly two years in charge, following a disappointing start to the new League One season.

Colchester have failed to win any of their five league games so far this season and made an early exit from the Capital One Cup.

And now Dunne left his role in the hot seat, ending an 18-year association with the club as player, coach and manager.

U's chairman Robbie Cowling said: "Joe has done a remarkable job as manager of Colchester United over the past two seasons and has been a remarkable servant for the club for many years.

"He is a Colchester United legend and I am grateful for the way he kept our club in League One during these challenging times.

"I wish him all the best for the future."

Dunne, who was a popular figure in his playing days with the U's, was appointed as Colchester manager in September 2012, having previously worked as assistant manager alongside his predecessor John Ward.

He made a hugely impressive start to his time as manager, winning five of his opening six matches in charge.

But after suffering a humiliating FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league neighbours Chelmsford City, Colchester suffered a dramatic dip in form.

They lost nine games in a row leaving Dunne contemplating his resignation, before an upturn in results helped them to seal their survival at Carlisle United on the final day of the season.

It was a similar scenario for Colchester the following season but Dunne continued to try and enforce his philosophy of free-flowing football along with the integration of talented young players such as Alex Gilbey, Sammie Szmodics and Macauley Bonne.

The U's virtually sealed their League One status on the penultimate day of the season with a 4-1 win over Brentford.

But they have started this season without a win in five matches and that has resulted in Dunne leaving his post, only a few days before the two-year anniversary of his appointment as manager.

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