COLCHESTER caretaker manager Kit Symons is the favourite to get the top job in the wake of Geraint Williams' departure from the U's hot seat on Monday, it has emerged.

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Mark Kinsella

COLCHESTER caretaker manager Kit Symons is the favourite to get the top job in the wake of Geraint Williams' departure from the U's hot seat on Monday, it has emerged.

Symons is the bookies' bet at odds of 4-1, followed closely by former Colchester favourites Mark Kinsella and Phil Parkinson (both 5-1).

The decision on the new manager rests in the hands of chairman Robbie Cowling and it is unknown yet whether he wants an experienced manager or an exciting young upstart.

Neither Symons nor Kinsella have been a full-time manager of a club but with Cowling also wanting to hire a technical analyst to work alongside the manager, it could mean that lack of experience is not seen as an obstacle.

Phil Parkinson

In his previous tenure at the club, Parkinson managed Colchester to promotion from League One and a famous FA cup run which was only halted after taking the lead away to Chelsea.

He would no doubt be a popular appointment, but has just signed a new contract as assistant manager at Charlton.

An exciting proposition as manager would be the sometimes eccentric Ian Holloway (7-1).

The former Bristol Rovers, QPR, Plymouth and Leicester manager, famed for his quirky press conferences, would be able to lift the gloom around Colchester with his cheerful nature - he once offered to buy a drink for all 700 Plymouth fans that travelled to the away win at Sunderland.

The betting list is littered with ex-Colchester players, most notably last season's star signing Teddy Sheringham (10-1).

Sheringham only spent one season at the club but has a footballing pedigree of the highest order, winning an unprecedented treble with Manchester United in 1999.

Cowling's obvious connections to West Ham have led to speculation of an appointment with Hammers connections and this is reflected with Steve Lomas (8-1), Mark Robson (16-1) and Alan Curbishley (16-1) being on the short list.

Curbishley would be a massive coup for Colchester but it is unlikely that a manager with Premiership credentials would want to drop down to League One.

Other front runners include former Luton boss Mike Newell (9-1), ex-Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez (12-1) and experienced Championship managers Steve Cotterill (8-1) and Billy Davies (10-1).

Those who fancy a punt at longer odds could see ex-midfielder Jason Dozzell (25-1) or Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (20-1) as good value, although either would be a massive surprise.

Odds on the next Colchester manager (Victor Chandler) -

Kit Symons: 4-1

Mark Kinsella: 5-1

Phil Parkinson: 5-1

Ian Holloway: 7-1

Mick Harford: 7-1

Steve Lomas: 8-1

Steve Cotterill: 8-1

Mike Newell: 9-1

Teddy Sheringham: 10-1

Billy Davies: 10-1

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