Alex Neil leaves Preston North End after nearly four years in charge at Deepdale

Alex Neil has left Preston a day after their 1-0 home defeat to Luton.

North End’s loss was their third in as many games and extended a run of form that has seen them record just three victories in their last 17 fixtures in all competitions.

Neil leaves with Preston 16th in the Championship, nine points above the relegation zone – although 22nd-placed Rotherham have up to four games in hand on the teams above them.

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The 39-year-old took charge at Deepdale in July 2017 and led Preston to a seventh-place finish in the Championship at the end of his first season in charge.

They could only achieve 14th spot in the 2018/19 season before Neil guided them to ninth last term.

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A statement released on the club’s website confirmed that Frankie McAvoy will take up the position of interim head coach and work with Steve Thompson, Mike Pollitt and Paul Gallagher in taking the team for the remaining eight games of the season.

After the defeat to Luton, Neil admitted Preston’s struggles were one of the most difficult moments of his management career.

“I won’t lie, it’s probably as difficult as it’s ever been for me. I’ve always been fighting middle to top of the table, it’s tough,” he said.

“People talk about knowing your best team and I used to get criticised for having my best team and playing it more often than people thought I should have.

“If I’m being brutally honest at the moment I haven’t got a scooby-doo what the best team is. Because what happens is, what I get from one week to the next, God knows.

“Your best team generally, you have reliability in it. You know what you are getting week, in week out. At the moment we are nowhere near that.”

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