Shake-up in the next Preston manager market as Joey Barton and Grant McCann enter the frame

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 29 March 2021, 13:04

It’s been just over a week since Preston decided to bring an end to Alex Neil’s tenure at the club.

Frankie McAvoy was instantly upgraded into the position of interim Head Coach - supported by Steve Thompson, Mike Pollitt and Paul Gallagher - and will remain at the helm until the end of the season.

With eight games to go McAvoy - Neil’s former assistant at Hamilton, Norwich and now Preston - is currently a 20/1 outsider for the permanent post but given that he’s the man currently in the dugout he has an ideal opportunity to showcase his own credentials as a No.1, starting on Friday against leaders Norwich.

“At the end of the day I might not be everyone’s cup of tea in terms of choice but the one thing I can assure you is that I will give it everything I have got – with the help of the people behind me – to get the best out of these players,” McAvoy told the Lancashire Post last week.

While the interim boss has every chance to make a statement, there is an expectation that Preston will look to bring in an external candidate as they bid to make a first managerial appointment since the summer of 2017.

This could be in the form of an ex-player with Michael Appleton (25/1), Gareth Ainsworth (12/1) and Callum Davidson (16/1) all linked.

While fans are realistic enough to understand that given the club’s budget a challenge for promotion isn’t always going to be on the cards, what they crave is someone who will bring an element of excitement to Deepdale.

Basically, a manager who can come in and inject a dose of impetus, implement an attractive brand of football, and galvanise the fans.

Similar to what Valerien Ismael's doing at Barnsley.

It's harder said than done of course. Plymouth's Ryan Lowe (25/1) is an ambitious young manager who will want to continue on his upward managerial curve, while MK Dons boss Russell Martin and Cheltenham’s Michael Duff (25/1) could fit the above criteria.

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Formerly at Fleetwood, Joey Barton only took the Bristol Rovers job last month

Nicky Butt, who is seeking a new opportunity after leaving his post at Man Utd, shot into the odds-on favourite last week - he's now 10/1 - before Joey Barton catapulted out of nowhere to lead the way.

Barton’s sudden presence in the betting certainly came as a surprise. Not only is he a former Burnley player, but the ex-Fleetwood boss has only recently taken charge of Bristol Rovers; just five weeks ago in fact.

It’s been a tough start to life at The Gas, with Barton losing seven of his 10 games to date, which has seen the club sink down to 23rd; two points adrift of safety.

At the time of writing, it appears that there’s no substance in Barton’s abrupt move to the summit of the Preston market, even if Barton (7/4) does suffer the drop he’s signed a contract until 2023 and looks totally invested in the project he’s undertaken at Bristol Rovers. However, the lure of the Championship could change that.

Barton has since been replaced at the top of the market by fellow League One manager Grant McCann (6/4), who is currently bidding to lead Hull to an instant return to the Championship, having suffered relegation last season.

The Tigers top League One with eight games to go, although the battle for automatic promotion is likely to go down to the wire, given that only three points separate 1st from 3rd. 

McCann, who has come under-pressure throughout his Hull tenure, is under contract until 2022. While a move right now looks out-of-the-question given the circumstances, the summer could be a different story.

Yet his record in the Championship is unlikely to inspire many Preston fans (12 wins, nine draws and 25 defeats) - losing the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki mid-way through the season certainly didn’t help.

Meanwhile, the man himself has dismissed a move, for now.

“No,” he told the BBC when asked if there was anything behind his move to the top of the market. “Absolutely no idea. I’ve got no interest in speaking about speculation, I’m very happy here,” he said.

In terms of unemployed managers, Derek McInnes (20/1), Neil Harris (25/1), and Mark Hughes (25/1) all still feature in the betting, while the full list of candidates can be found below.

Next Preston North End Manager Odds

Gareth Ainsworth

Current Team: Wycombe Wanderers


Nicky Butt

Previous Team: None


Frankie McAvoy

Current Team: Preston North End


Roy Keane

Previous Team: Ipswich Town


Uwe Rosler

Current Team: Fortuna Dusseldorf


Joey Barton

Current Team: Bristol Rovers


Robbie Fowler

Current Team: East Bengal


Dean Holden

Previous Team: Bristol City


Grant McCann

Current Team: Hull City


David Healy

Current Team: Linfield


Michael Appleton

Current Team: Lincoln City


Callum Davidson

Current Team: St Johnstone


Neil Lennon

Previous Team: Celtic


Derek McInnes

Previous Team: Aberdeen


Eddie Howe

Previous Team: Bournemouth


Kenny Jackett

Previous Team: Portsmouth


Garry Monk

Previous Team: Sheffield Wednesday


Alan Pardew

Previous Team: ADO Den Haag


Tony Pulis

Previous Team: Sheffield Wednesday


Jack Ross

Current Team: Hibernian


Daniel Stendel

Previous Team: Heart of Midlothian


Chris Wilder

Previous Team: Sheffield United


Derek Adams

Current Team: Morecambe


Slaven Bilic

Current Team: Beijing Guoan


Mark Bowen

Previous Team: Reading


Sol Campbell

Previous Team: Southend United


Michael Carrick

Previous Team: None


Lee Carsley

Current Team: England U20


Steve Clarke

Current Team: Scotland


Paul Clement

Previous Team: Cercle Brugge


Chris Coleman

Previous Team: Hebei China Fortune


Michael Duff

Current Team: Cheltenham Town


Steve Evans

Current Team: Gillingham


Ian Evatt

Current Team: Bolton Wanderers


Darren Ferguson

Current Team: Peterborough United


Darren Fletcher

Previous Team: None


Michael Flynn

Current Team: Newport County


Ryan Giggs

Current Team: Wales


Neil Harris

Previous Team: Cardiff City


Mark Hughes

Previous Team: Southampton


Slavisa Jokanovic

Current Team: Al Gharafa


Michael Jolley

Previous Team: Barrow


Aitor Karanka

Previous Team: Birmingham City


Harry Kewell

Previous Team: Oldham Athletic


Sabri Lamouchi

Previous Team: Nottingham Forest


Michael Laudrup

Previous Team: Al Rayyan


Ryan Lowe

Current Team: Plymouth Argyle


Malky Mackay

Previous Team: Wigan Athletic


Kevin Nolan

Previous Team: Notts County


Martin O'Neill

Previous Team: Nottingham Forest


Phil Parkinson

Previous Team: Sunderland


Chris Powell

Previous Team: Southend United


Steven Reid

Previous Team: None


Stephen Robinson

Previous Team: Motherwell


Tim Sherwood

Previous Team: Aston Villa


Alan Stubbs

Previous Team: St Mirren


John Terry

Previous Team: None


Paul Tisdale

Previous Team: Bristol Rovers


Graham Westley

Previous Team: Stevenage


Ian Holloway

Previous Team: Grimsby Town


Frank Lampard

Previous Team: Chelsea


Paul Lambert

Previous Team: Ipswich Town


Odds Correct as of 2021-04-20 12:57:03
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