FORMER Colchester United head coach John McGreal is among the bookmakers' favourites to take over at League Two strugglers Carlisle United.

McGreal, who left the U's in July 2020 after nearly four years in charge at the JobServe Community Stadium, is 8/1 with the likes of William Hill and BetVictor to take over at Brunton Park.

Carlisle, who lie 22nd in the table, parted company with Chris Beech yesterday, after a disappointing run of form.

Beech (pictured below) left his role as head coach following the Cumbrians' 3-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers, on Saturday.

Carlisle taken just one point from their last five matches and have registered two wins so far, this season.

They played out a goal-less draw with Colchester at Brunton Park, on the opening day of the current League Two campaign.

Assistant manager Gavin Skelton and academy coach Eric Kinder have been put in temporary charge.

Along with McGreal, the likes of Danny Grainger, Gavin Skelton and former U's advisor Paul Tisdale have also been linked with the vacant post.

A Carlisle club statement said: "The club would like to thank Chris for his efforts over the past two years and will provide further updates in due course."


McGreal has been looking for a new role since leaving his position as manager of Swindon Town in June, after just a month in the job.

The former Ipswich Town and Burnley defender, along with former U's goalkeeper coach Rene Gilmartin who was assistant manager with the Robins, agreed to mutually terminate their contracts with the League Two club.

McGreal spent a total of 11 years as a coach at Colchester, including four years as head coach.

He led them to the League Two play-offs and League Cup quarter-finals for only the second time in their history, in the 2019-20 season.

McGreal also helped the U’s compete for a top-seven finish in his first three years in charge, along with helping a number of talented players progress to a higher level, after shining under his management.

He parted company with Colchester in the summer of 2020, with his assistant Steve Ball succeeding him as head coach.