Preston North End have parted ways with Alex Neil following a five game winless run which leaves the club 16th in the Championship with eight games remaining.
Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Luton means Preston are nine points above the relegation zone and 18 points adrift of the play-offs.
In a club statement, Preston said:
“Preston North End Football Club can confirm that it has today parted with the services of its Manager, Alex Neil.
“Alex joined the club in the summer of 2017 and he leaves us with our thanks and very best wishes for the future.
“It is the intention that Frankie McAvoy will take up the position of interim Head Coach and work with Steve Thompson, Mike Pollitt and Paul Gallagher in taking the team for the remaining eight games of the season.
Having been placed in interim charge, Frankie McAvoy features as one of the early contenders for the full-time job in the next Preston manager market. McAvoy joined the club back in 2017, soon after the appointment of Neil, with whom he worked with at Norwich and Hamilton.
At the time of writing out-of-work managers being linked with the post include Neil Harris, Neil Lennon, Derek McInnes, Eddie Howe, Tony Pulis, and Daniel Stendel; each offering different styles of play and levels of experience. Meanwhile, Frank Lampard, Chris Wilder and Kenny Jackett have all recently left jobs.
However, given that Preston have said that McAvoy will take charge until the end of the season, the club could opt to approach another club in the summer for the services of a manager.
Bright managerial sparks in the Football League include Ryan Lowe (Plymouth), Russell Martin (MK Dons), Mark Bonner (Cambridge), and Michael Duff (Cheltenham) who are all worth keeping an eye on as the search progresses.
Michael Appleton, currently bidding to lead Lincoln into the Championship, was previously a club record signing at Preston (£500,000 in 1997) and his connection to the club means he is sure to receive attention in the market, as is Wycombe’s long-serving manager Gareth Ainsworth who is another former Lilywhites player.
See below for a full list of names in the betting...
Next Preston North End Manager Odds
Team: Wycombe Wanderers
Time With Team: 8 years 6 mths 26 days
Team: Fortuna Dusseldorf
Time With Team: 1 year 2 mths 22 days
Team: Peterborough United
Time With Team: 2 years 2 mths 25 days