New boss Neil believes there is scope to develop at PNE

Alex Neil likes the potential of the Preston North End squad he has inherited and says there is scope to develop it.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 6th July 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:47 am
PNE's new manager Alex Neil
PNE's new manager Alex Neil

Neil was due to meet the players this morning after kicking-off his time as PNE manager with media duties yesterday afternoon.

New to Deepdale he might be, but he has researched the squad extensively and has worked with two of them at his previous clubs.

“I had Declan Rudd with me at Norwich and I played with and managed Stevie May at Hamilton,” Neil told the Post.

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“A lot of the other lads here I have come across at one stage or another, whether that is managing against them or I’ve met them at different things.

“Football is quite a small world at times, you come into contact with a lot of people in a short period of time.

“When you are a manager out of work and a job comes up, you go straight on to the internet to look at what the squad is like and would it be a job which interests you?

“Then you look at what happens from there.

“Once I got the call from Preston saying they wanted me as their new manager, it all went into full flow.

“Talking to the people here, I realised this was a team and club with real potential.

“They have built year-on-year but I still think there is a lot of scope to build further which is important to me.”

Neil will have funds made available to him to strengthen the squad and clearly has ideas already about which areas of the squad need attention.

It will be more of ‘tinker’ in the Scotsman’s words, rather than huge changes.

“The club is built on good steady progress, building year after year and that isn’t going to change,” said Neil.

“The money we do have we will spend wisely, invest it in good quality players to help improve us.

“I’m not coming here to rip anything up and change the whole squad.”

Neil’s first couple of days with the players will be more of a watching brief than a hands-on approach.

It will be in Ireland next week when he starts to really put his message across.

Said Neil: “To go bashing about straight away would be a bit clumsy.

“So what I’ll do is meet the staff which is crucial and meet with the players which is even more crucial.

“I will watch the sessions today and then watch Friday’s game at Bamber Bridge.

“I’ll pick the brains of the staff when we go to Ireland and come up with a strategy and plan to push us forward.

“This is an exciting time for me, it is a new challenge and one I’m determined to do well.

“My job is to nurture the players we have here, get them to improve both individually and collectively.”