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…
Preston North End manager Alex Neil has received the backing of Peter Ridsdale, who has insisted that he’s convinced he remains the right man for the job at Deepdale.
Neil is under pressure after a poor start to the season has left Preston 18th in the Championship table.
However, Ridsdale has explained that he would only look to replace Neil if he felt he had lost the dressing room at Deepdale or belief that he could turn things around.
A snippet of the Lancashire Live Q&A read: “The next thing you do, is if you’re going to change a manager you’ve got to do it for the right reasons and the right reason is if you don’t believe he can turn it around when it needs turning around – and then, if you don’t believe the players are playing for him.
“We’ve got the right manager, he can turn it around, he’s done it before and the players are playing for him.”
Our writers discuss Ridsdale’s backing…
He deserves a bit more time.
He’s worked hard to make Preston play-off contenders and they had a real chance right to the end of the season last year, so the quality is there.
I don’t think he’s been helped massively by the lack of transfer activity since last season and that’s not his fault.
The table is massively congested and I would give him a bit more time to get the tune out of the players that he did last year – they’re not adrift just yet.
Obviously, though, if we’re six games further down the line with no signs of improvement then I think he’s in trouble.
I feel like this is almost a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other here.
On the one hand, Preston’s results – particularly at home where they were so good last season – are a big concern right now, and you feel they cannot continue like this for much longer.
However, Ridsdale may be aware that Neil was not exactly able to recruit in the summer window like many other Championship teams did – centre forward Emil Riis being the club’s only signing – which was always going to make it harder for them to compete this time around.
As a result, Ridsdale may feel that Neil deserves to prove himself when he has a fully fit squad, something North End have not had available recently, before making a decision, which is understandable given the work Neil has previously done for the club, although he must be careful not to wait too long if things do not improve sooner rather than later.
Irvine? Westley? Who was the Preston North End manager when each of these 15 Lilywhites moments happened?
I think for the moment, Neil’s job should be safe.
It’s not been a good start to the season for Preston, who in previous campaigns have been a play-off chasing side.
It doesn’t seem as though they’re going to be doing that this term but despite sitting down in 18th, I think Neil should be safe for the time being.
They’re undoubtedly underachieving but I’d suggest that previous seasons has seen them overachieve and that their manager deserves credit for that.
He wasn’t hugely backed in the summer and they will surely keep the faith to let him sort this situation out.
If they make a change, I think it could be next summer.