Former Norwich City boss Alex Neil has been named the new Preston North End manager. The Scot has penned a 12-month rolling contract at Deepdale, and officially takes on the job from this Thursday.
The Lilywhites have been on the lookout for a permanent replacement for Simon Grayson, who departed earlier in the week to take on the vacancy at Sky Bet Championship rivals Sunderland. Steve Thompson had been placed in caretaker charge of first-team affairs in the interim. He will remain on Neil’s staff, along with Alan Kelly, Tom Little and Matt Jackson.
The 36-year-old takes on his third managerial role, having managed Hamilton Academical as well as Norwich. He won promotion with both of those sides, and therefore targets a third with his new side. Speaking on his appointment, he believes the club is a perfect fit,
“I’ve looked at this opportunity and seen that the club has made progress for four years running and I am looking forward to trying to continue that progress.
“It is a really good challenge for me. I have been involved in a lot of big games in a short space of time and hopefully we can be involved in a lot more big games here at Preston North End.”
He also went on to reveal that the ‘ultimate goal’ is to achieve promotion into the Premier League. His plan is to ‘build a side and squad that is capable of competing at the top end of the Championship.’
Neil taking on the job means that Preston keeps in line a strong tradition of appointing Scottish managers at the club. Since 1998, David Moyes, Craig Brown, Billy Davies, Alan Irvine, Darren Ferguson, and now Neil, have all been in the hotseat.