Preston North End backed by reporter to hire Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth
Alex Neil left his role as Preston North End manager yesterday, ending his tenure after nearly four years in the Deepdale dugout.
Preston North End suffered their third-straight Championship loss at the weekend. They succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at home to Luton Town in what was Neil’s 191st game at the helm, and also his last.
His tenure has been coming under scrutiny throughout what’s been a stop-start campaign for Preston. Having seen their play-off hopes dwindle last time round they’ve continued on that downward trajectory, finding themselves in 16th after the weekend.
Last night, Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth came into bookies’ contention for the job, and Lancashire Evening Post’s Dave Seddon has also backed him for the job:
Busy day. Alex Neil a pleasure to deal with – honest, spiky at times, but a good listen. I wish him well and he'll bounce back. I hope Frankie McAvoy can reverse the poor form. Interesting times ahead. Wouldn't mind longer-term seeing Ainsworth get a crack at the job. #pnefc
— Dave Seddon (@Sedds_lep) March 21, 2021
Ainsworth dealt Neil the first of his final three defeats as Preston boss. Wycombe welcomed the Lilywhites earlier this month and would claim an impressive 1-0 win, with Ainsworth telling Bucks Free Press after the game:
“The style of the win was really good, and it shows how far we have come as a club.
“We were close to one or two more and I thought it was a thoroughly deserved win following our first-half performance.
“We took the game to Preston which I asked them to do and I told them that they can rely on me and to rely on each other.”
For Wycombe, that win was a special one. But for Preston, that defeat was a timely reminder of how much they’ve under-performed this season and it ultimately kick-started Neil’s Preston departure.
Ainsworth has worked wonders in his eight-and-a-half years at Wycombe, taking the club from League Two to the Championship. But his old school style of play hasn’t fared well in the Championship this season and he’s witnessed Wycombe’s fairy tale turn to dust.
He could be tempted by Preston with the Chairboys looking destined to finish bottom of the Championship. But it’d be a risk for both parties, and time would definitely be needed to see any kind of Wycombe-like results at Preston.