John Ward and Joe Dunne are both “serious contenders” for the vacant Colchester United manager’s job, according to chairman Robbie Cowling.

U’s assistant manager Ward and first-team coach Dunne met with Cowling on Friday to discuss the next steps for the club, in the aftermath of Aidy Boothroyd’s switch to Coventry City.

Cowling told the Gazette: “They are both serious contenders."

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