Colchester have confirmed Joe Dunne as the club's permanent manager following the dismissal of John Ward last weekend.
Former United defender Dunne, 39, who worked as assistant to Ward, has spent the last 16 years at the club. He had been installed as caretaker-manager for the second time following the defeat at Scunthorpe on Saturday.
Colchester's executive chairman Robbie Cowling said in a statement: "It was not an easy decision to part company with John Ward because he had worked so hard to achieve so much for Colchester United Football Club. However, it was an easy choice when it came to selecting John's successor.
"Joe has been with Colchester United for 16 years as a player, youth-team manager, reserve manager, assistant manager, caretaker manager and now he is first-team manager.
"Joe takes charge of Colchester United when the club's long-term prospects are the best they have ever been, but at a time when the short-term future is one of its most challenging."