Losing Simon Grayson could have been bad news for Preston North End’s Irish collective – but it may not be bad news after all.
Former Norwich boss Alex Neil replaced Grayson earlier this week and while there was a fear that the new manager might look to overhaul the squad to his own satisfaction, he seems more than willing to give what is already at Deepdale the chance to impress first.
In his first conference as Lilywhites manager (and speaking to BBC Sport after), Neil outlined his plans for the coming season, including working with the current squad and improve on what Grayson had been building at the club.
“Preston have got a solid squad that have performed well over two seasons in the Championship — my job is to improve that squad and get the best out of what we’ve got and hopefully on the finishes that we’ve made over the past two seasons.
“We’ve got to make sure that we improve the squad, but it certainly won’t be a case of buying five, six, seven players into the team, I’ll be trying to get the best out of the lads we’ve got.”
An already strong Irish contingent that features former Dundalk duo Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle, as well as Greg Cunningham, Alan Browne and Eoin Doyle, will be added to later this month with the arrival of Cork City pair Sean Maguire and Kevin O’Connor.
Although the situation is hardly ideal for those players, insofar as they will not be playing for the manager that signed them, it bodes well for them that Neil is fully prepared to give them an opportunity to make their mark before anything else happens.
On this week’s edition of the Mixer Irish Football Podcast we dissected Bray Wanderers’ perilous financial situation with Cormac Byrne of the Irish Mirror, and caught up with Bohemians’ Keith Ward to discuss both his and his team’s fine league form.