Joe Dunne could land the Colchester job on a permanent basis should he impress as caretaker boss, according to chairman Robbie Cowling.
Dunne has been placed in charge of the U's following Monday's sacking of John Ward, who departs with the Essex club third from bottom in League One and without a win from their opening nine games in all competitions.
Dunne, who was assistant to Ward, takes the reins for the short term at least having held a number of coaching roles with Colchester since ending his playing career with the club. But he has the opportunity to put himself firmly in the frame for the full-time position.
"In the meantime I want to give Joe Dunne the chance to put himself in the box seat," Cowling told Sky Sports News.
"If he does well and wants it we would like that to happen. It may or may not be the right time so I don't want to say too much at the moment, but I will back whoever is in charge to be as successful as they possibly can be.
"We want to get some wins and get back into contention. A lot of things are right at this club. We felt we needed to act early in the season to feel like we can achieve our aims."