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Preston North End next manager odds

Preston North End next permanent manager odds

Preston North End next manager after Alex Neil

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Preston manager Alex Neil was born in Bellshill, Scotland in 1981. Before becoming a manager, Neil enjoyed a 15-year playing career which saw him divide his time between Scotland England.

A natural midfielder, Neil began his footballing life at Airdireonians where he would make 16 appearances and score five goals in a one year period from 1999 to 2000. After the turn of the century, Neil would move to Barnsley in Yorkshire. His four-year spell at the club would prove a fruitful one. The club, who at the time were playing in the Football League First Division, later rebranded 'the Championship', would struggle during Neil's time there. He made over a century of appearances but would soon taste real disappointment for the first time in his football career as Barnsley were relegated to the Second Division.

From here, Neil would move to Mansfield time who occupied the same division as Barnsley. His free transfer in July 2004 was the start of a one year stint with the club. Mansfield Town would have an unremarkable season, finishing in a mid-table position. Neil scored just once in his 41 matches for the club.

The Mansfield manager did not see Neil as being involved in his immediate plans and this resulted in him being placed on the transfer list with a view to quickly finding him a new club. Neil's preferred destination was in Scotland, luckily Hamilton Academical came calling and offered the midfielder a two-year deal. Neil quickly became a fan favourite at the club, his willingness to work and his tenacity endeared him to the fans. It was here that Neil would enjoy the best days of his career. He would stay as a player for a little over a decade, a period in which he played over 200 competitive fixtures. Among fans he earned himself a tongue-in-cheek reputation as a little goal shy - Neil scored just four times in the entirety of his time there.

Neil's only major honour as a player was won when he was with the Scottish club; they lifted the Scottish Football League First Division in the 2007/08 season. This feat led to them being promoted to the Scottish Premier League, of course, and Neil enjoyed several years playing in the Scottish top flight. 

In 2013, the then Hamilton manager Billy Reid was relieved of his duties by the board, leaving them in search of a replacement. While they began the search, Neil, who was still playing for the club, was placed in temporary charge. This made the Scott a player-manager, a rare occurrence in top-flight football. In his time as caretaker boss however, the board saw enough in him to suggest that he would make a more than acceptable full-time manager and duly appointed him to the position. At the time of his appointment, Neil was remarkably young for a manager, only 31 years old.

He would continue to juggle his responsibilities as both player and manager until 2015 when he would retire to focus solely on the management side of the game. Prior to this, Hamilton had enjoyed tremendous success; they were re-promoted back to the Scottish Premier League in 2014 after winning the playoffs. Upon their arrival back in the top-flight, Hamilton had a solid season, the highlight of which was victory away at Celtic.

During the winter period of 2015, Neil was approached by Norwich City regarding the managerial vacancy which had arisen following their relegation from the Premier League and subsequent underperformance in the Championship. Neil accepted their offer and took the reins at Norwich with immediate effect. His Norwich side was terrific in the latter half of the season and climbed the table to 3rd place, narrowly missing out on the automatic promotion places. However, Norwich would still gain promotion via the playoffs, and deservedly so.

Norwich's one and only season in the Premier League under Neil was a disappointment and they were immediately relegated back to the Championship. Despite this poor season, Neil kept his job and oversaw Norwich's next campaign in the Championship until he was sacked in March with Norwich 8th in the table.

Later that year, Neil was appointed manager of Preston North End. His time at the Lancashire club has, so far, been a relative success and he will take charge of the club for the 2019/20 Championship season.


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