Colchester United part company with John McGreal

Colchester United chairman Robbie Cowling speaks to ITV News Anglia about their decision to part company with John McGreal

Colchester United have announced they've parted company with Head Coach John McGreal.

The former U's defender missed out on steering the club to the SkyBet EFL League Two Final, when the season resumed in June following the Coronavirus lockdown.

They finished sixth in the table when the final positions were calculated by a points-per-game formula.

But in the two-legged semi-final against Exeter, Colchester lost 3-2 on aggregate, despite winning the home leg 1-0.

In a statement on the club's official website Chairman Robbie Cowling  says the club is going to implement a new plan that will see the first team being even more tightly aligned to the Academy and that he and his directors felt a change of First Team Head Coach was required if our new direction was to be successfully implemented.

John McGreal on the touchline during a pre-season game at Colchester in 2016 Credit: PA

McGreal was promoted to Head Coach from U's Under 21 coach in 2016. Under his charge Colchester finished 8th, 13th, 8th and 6th.

Before coronavirus ended the regular League Two campaign McGreal, who played for Tranmere, Ipswich and Burnley, guided Colchester to their best ever run in the EFL Cup.

The U's knocked out Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Tottenham in Rounds Two and Three after penalty shoot-outs, having first held both clubs to goalless draws over 90 minutes.

John McGreal acknowledges Colchester United fans following their EFL Carabao Cup Quarter Final at Manchester United Credit: PA

A 3-1 win at Crawley set up a dream tie at Manchester United - the club's first ever trip to Old Trafford. But the U's couldn't pull off another shock, losing 3-0.