“WARD out, Ward out!” You must be joking.

John Ward has done a satisfactory job, as Colchester United boss, and he certainly does NOT deserve to lose his job.

The odd chant of “Ward out,” after the recent home games against Scunthorpe and Chesterfield, could be heard towards the end of these back-to-back fixtures at the Community Stadium.

Fans have every right to vent their anger, and express themselves vocally during a highly-charged Saturday afternoon, but let’s get real.

The U’s are no longer a Championship club, and they are not going to return to the second tier in the near future.

That has nothing to do with Ward. It’s more to do with the fact that the U’s have cut their cloth, in recent times, to match their size as a football club.

I have always thought that the U’s were punching above their weight, in the Championship (2006-08), not by one but by two divisions, in terms of crowd sizes and general income.

United struck lucky with a fantastic squad under Phil Parkinson – a once in a lifetime squad – due to some inspired signings, terrific management and coaching, and a wonderful team spirit. But every club then has to go through a rebuilding process, after the initial glow of success has dimmed, and relegation has kicked in.

The big-spending days of Paul Lambert’s and Aidy Boothroyd’s regimes (by comparison to the U’s more frugal past), are over.

That’s not to say the U’s are not looking towards a bright future …. they are. It’s just that ambitions have to be lowered.

The U’s cannot afford to compete on a level playing field with many of the big guns in League One.

I know fans don’t want to be told that, but it’s a reality. And furthermore, with the new Football League rules coming into force next season, when clubs in League One will only be permitted to spend 60% of their income of wages, the U’s will be further hit.

The future for Colchester must surely be based on young players coming through, and young players from elsewhere being recruited and developed at the club’s fantastic future new training facilities at Tiptree.

Players such as Tom Eastman, Tom Bender (on loan for the season at Accrington Stanley), Tom Aldred (signed last summer), Ben Coker, Jordan Sanderson and Bradley Hamilton will surely be a big part of the U’s going forward.

I want success, just as much as any Colchester fan – I’d rather be reporting on a U’s trip to Leicester or Reading, rather than a U’s visit to Oldham or Walsall.

But the U’s have consolidated themselves as a solid League One club, sitting in mid-table and occasionally nursing hopes of launching a bid for the top six.

It could be much, much worse. Remember, there are many clubs in League Two with a bigger fan-base and more resources than the U’s, such as Swindon, Bradford, Oxford and Gillingham.

In fact, there are even clubs in the Blue Square Premier who would claim to be on an equal standing (or better) with the U’s, in terms of pulling in the fans and boasting a good club history – Luton, Cambridge, Wrexham spring to mind.

Fans are free to vent their frustrations against the manager, but Ward is the right man to lead the U’s, at this stage in the club’s development.

A new manager does not always mean better times will follow. And if you doubt this, you should remember the goings on at a club just 16 miles up the A12 ..... at Ipswich!