Date: 30th December 2009 at 5:07pm
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Preston manager Alan Irvine has been sacked after just over two years in charge at Deepdale fuelling speculation that former Clarets gaffer,Steve Cotterill could be in the frame to take over.

Cotterill was recently linked with the manager’s job at Sheffield Wednesday following the dismissal of Brian Laws but there has been no word yet of any appointment at Hillsborough with the club clearly taking their time to interview and decide.

Preston have been on a bad run with just one win in 10 games which has seen them slip from the top six to 16th just eight points clear of the drop zone but also only eight points from the play-offs positions. Nevertheless it seems harsh to have sacked Irvine after he got Preston to the play-offs last season.

In his first season after replacing Paul Simpson in November 2007 he rescued the club from the threat of relegation with Preston just one place above the bottom three clubs when he took over.

The football world though is unforgiving and the 1-0 defeat on Monday night against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane appears to have been the death knell for Alan Irvine.

North End chairman, Derek Shaw commenting on his decision told the Official Club website

‘The decision was not taken lightly.Alan did an extremely good job keeping us in the Championship and took us to the play-offs last season. However after a good start to the 2009-10 campaign, we have only picked up seven points out of a possible 30 since our last away win at Sheffield Wednesday on 20 October. In that period we have only scored six goals and that sort of record is not something we could allow to continue without addressing it.’

Derek Shaw has also suggested former Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson could be the ideal candidate to replace Alan Irvine.

‘Darren Ferguson did a fantastic job at Peterborough so he’s obviously in the frame. We would be foolish not to consider him but there are several quality candidates out there.’

It is understood that Steve Cotterill could be one of those along with former Wigan and Derby boss Paul Jewell.

Again though just like the Owls board it would appear Preston are in no rush to sort out a new manager and for the moment former assistant Rob Kelly is the caretaker manager charge ahead of Preston’s weekendFA Cup tie at home to Colchester.

Good luck to Steve in getting a job either at Wednesday or Preston but it looks like in both cases it will take some time before the new manager appointments are made.


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