Colchester hope to name a new manager next week after trimming their list of potential candidates to 12 names.
The U's received 45 applications for the post following Paul Lambert's decision to join Norwich, and chairman Robbie Cowling and his board of directors will begin interviewing their top candidates on Friday.
"The chairman will be taking time time to speak to our long list of 12 managers over the next couple of days, with a view to formal interviews with the board at the end of this week and the start of next," said chief executive Steve Bradshaw.
"It is our intention that the manager will be in situ in time to take the team for training ahead of the game against Southampton next Saturday."
Joe Dunne will remain in caretaker charge for Saturday's home clash with Leeds.
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