League One side Colchester United have opted to release manager John Ward from his contract.
The board have made the decision following a slow start to the season which has seen the U's drop into the League One relegation zone.
Despite admitting that he has been disappointed by the club's recent results, chairman Robbie Cowling has praised Ward for the work that he carried out during his stint in charge of the Essex-based outfit.
"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," Cowling said in a statement.
"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.
"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."
Ward was appointed to the Colchester helm back in May 2010.