Alex Neil, formerly of Preston North End and Norwich City, is helping out former teammate Dave Artell at Crewe Alexandra.

Neil, 40, has been out of work since March, when he has relieved of his duties at Preston North End.

His departure came after almost four years at Deepdale, where he amassed an average points per game of 1.39 from 191 matches with the Lilywhites.

Now, though not in an official role, it has emerged that Neil is back in and around the game with League One strugglers Crewe Alexandra.

READ: Preston North End star ‘really, really angry’ after 3-0 loss to Nottingham Forest

As quoted by Cheshire Live, Crewe manager Dave Artell has revealed Neil is giving the club a helping hand as they bid to turn around their dreadful run of form.

Here’s what Artell had to say:

“I spoke to the chairman months ago just about someone coming in, just a fresh pair of eyes for a few days. Have a look, see where we can improve.

“I played with Alex for a couple of years and we drove in together. He is a great guy. I trust him.

“He wants to help and he is having a look. ‘What are you doing here, why are you doing that, what’s this and what’s that?’

“He is questioning staff more than anyone else and has been invaluable already. He is someone I trust, someone who, hopefully, we can pick his brains and improve.”

The situation at Gresty Road

There’s still plenty of time for things to change, but the results will have to come soon if Crewe Alexandra want to maintain their League One status.

The Railwaymen have won just one of their first 16 league games this season, falling to six draws and nine defeats. They are currently on a run of four consecutive losses and sit six points away from safety at the foot of the table.

It awaits to be seen if Neil’s presence can help Artell turn things around in Cheshire, with Crewe’s position already looking perilous.