Club issue statement on manager.
"Joe Dunne has agreed to take over in the short term and I am sure that everyone will give Joe their full support."
"I would like to thank John Ward for his time in charge. He has done more for Colchester United than many people realise, and the board of Colchester United and especially myself would like to wish him all of the very best for the future.
"So much of Colchester United is better than it has ever been, but sadly that is not being reflected in first team results and the board has decided that this action is required to stop the negativity of the on-field results impacting on the other areas of the club that have also been drastically improved.
Chairman Robbie Cowling spoke for the entire board when told the official website: "In so many areas, John Ward will leave Colchester United Football Club in a better position than when he first took over as First Team Manager.
John has managed the club since the start of the 2010/11 season and has steered the club to two consecutive top ten finishes.
It is with regret that the Colchester United board has taken the decision to release John Ward from his duties as First Team Manager.