This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
It’s been an underwhelming season so far for Alex Neil and his Preston North End side.
The Lilywhites are languishing in 16th position after a stop-start campaign that has seen the Lancashire outfit struggle to maintain any sort of form or consistency.
Naturally, questions are starting to be raised regarding Alex Neil and his role at Deepdale, with it not looking like a promotion push is firmly on the cards this season judging on what we have seen so far.
So, with this in mind, should Preston look for a fresh start in the new year and replace Neil or should they stick with the former Norwich City boss?
The team here at FLW discuss…..
Whilst I believe that Neil remains the right man for the job, Preston’s recent results and performances simply haven’t been good enough.
However, things can change quickly in the Championship, and despite suffering nine league defeats already this season, Preston are only nine points adrift of the top-six, and a productive festive period could leave them with plenty to shout about by the time 2021 comes around.
More bad results are only going to increase the pressure on the Scot, but if Preston can turn around their home form, which is proving their obvious downfall, then they’ll quickly climb the Championship standings, and for that reason, I think they should definitely stick with Neil for the foreseeable future rather than making a rash decision.
Things are beginning to get a little stale at Deepdale but I think he deserves a little more time.
I’m not hugely convinced that the squad has the quality to be pushing for a top-six place and with that in mind, I don’t think they should rush into any decisions.
They’re only nine points from the play-offs and a successful Christmas period could see them race up the table – he deserves at least that time.
If they are going to make a chance, what Preston must ensure they do is have a contingency plan and someone lined up, rather than just sack him and then think what’s next.
Did these 25 players make more or less than 100 Preston North End appearances?
He can certainly have no complaints if he’s sacked, as ten defeats in 19 games is unacceptable.
Over the past few years Preston have been a good side that were close to becoming a team that could break into the top six. This season, they’ve clearly gone backwards. His signings haven’t always worked out, and the mood around the club is not good.
Key players could depart in the next two windows, with Ben Davies the obvious one, so it could be the ideal time to prepare for a new cycle at North End with a different boss.
A fresh face and voice could bring a spark back to Deepdale that is lacking right now.