The Alex Neil era at Preston North End is officially over after the club parted company with the 39-year-old Scot this afternoon.
Neil replaced Simon Grayson back in the summer of 2017 as PNE’s then-manager of four years departed for Sunderland, having established the Lilywhites as a solid Championship club once again.
The former Norwich manager got to grips with the side and almost pushed them into the top six of the Championship in his very first season, despite North End having one of the lower budgets in the division.
They eventually missed out by two points to Derby County and the following two seasons saw North End finish 14th and 9th in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons, despite being top briefly earlier in the season in the latter campaign.
PNE were still on the coattails of the play-off race at the start of 2021 after winning three games in a row to end last year, but they’ve faltered since the start of the new year and have lost nine times.
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And yesterday’s loss to Luton at Deepdale – their third defeat in a row without scoring – signalled the end of Neil’s time at Deepdale, with the club sitting 16th in the Championship and nine points off the relegation zone.
The fanbase is split, with some thankful that he is departed and others believing he has been dealt a bad hand by owner Trevor Hemmings with his best players sold from underneath him.
Thank you for everything Alex 💙 wish you all the best in the future, go smash your next job 💙
— Jack 🌹 (@jackdantucker_) March 21, 2021
And quite right too, bye Alex. Thanks for the first 14 months or so.
— Dom (@dom_33) March 21, 2021
Good luck in the future Alex, please make sure he’s ok lads x
— J (@JPnefc) March 21, 2021
Wish him all the best, genuinely thought he was the man to do the impossible
— Shaun Thompson (@shaunpne) March 21, 2021
Nothing will change until we stop selling our best players every season.
— Rory Cocker (@CoryRocker) March 21, 2021
— Emma Simpson (@emma_simo8) March 21, 2021
Shame things ended the way they did, it started off so well. Wish you all the best in the future 👍🏻
— Gareth Livesey (@GarethLivesey95) March 21, 2021
Right decision for me. Was taking us down but did the best with what he had. Need to look further up as well or the next manager will be doomed to fail
— Michael Cookson (@MikeCookson1) March 21, 2021
The right decision to be honest. We have been appalling for some time now. Not helped by Hemmings and risdale by the way. We need new ideas.
— DW_91 (@North4rn_monk4y) March 21, 2021