The priority for Colchester in their manager search is appointing an external candidate, according to the club’s sporting director.
Wayne Brown was sacked after five losses in United’s opening nine games left them fourth-bottom of League Two.
The club are looking for their eighth manager in eight years.
Joe Dunne, Tony Humes, John McGreal, Steve Ball and Hayden Mullins were all promoted from within but Dmitri Halajko has vowed to look further afield.
Halajko will be heading up the recruitment process.
“There’s a shortlist of two or three people that we’ve gone out to target and then there’s the open process when people contact the club and put their CV through. You get outstanding people through both those,” he told BBC Radio Essex.
“There’s the internal route that the club has used quite a lot before, which we won’t discount, but we’re certainly firmly looking at the other two areas as a priority at this stage.”
Halajko said he wanted a manager who could help develop their young players by giving them opportunities to play.
“One of the key things we’re looking for is that we’re a development club and we want to develop the senior players we’ve signed and our young players and put them into our squad and give them opportunities,” he added.
“We want someone who understands that and that is part of their passion – that’s one of the key things we’re looking for.
“It’s early days but I think we are happy with where we are. We’ve made good progress, it’s been quick progress, but not so quick that we’ll have anyone in place before Saturday’s game.
“Maybe five or 10 days after that, but we would hope it wouldn’t be any longer. That would be the ideal timeline for us.
“Our aim hasn’t changed. We want to move the club forward and away from the bottom part of the league – that’s our full focus at the moment.”