Aberdeen move good for Stevie May says Preston boss Alex Neil

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Preston North End boss Alex Neil thinks Stevie May’s move to Aberdeen will kick-start his career.

The striker joined the Dons last Thursday night and made his debut in their 2-1 win at Ross County on Saturday.

Stevie May

Stevie May

Speaking at his press conference to preview PNE's visit to Derby on Monday, Neil said: “It is never nice when someone who you have worked with and got on with in the past, leaves.

“But for Stevie and ourselves, it was for the best.

“Stevie needed to play eight to 10 games just to get himself back to a level which I know he is capable of.

“Unfortunately, I haven’t got eight to 10 games to give him, we need to win now.

Stevie May warming-up before the opening-day game against Sheffield Wednesday

Stevie May warming-up before the opening-day game against Sheffield Wednesday

“For Stevie, for the club, for everyone I thought it was right.

“I’m sure Stevie will go up to Aberdeen and look great, I wish him all the best.

“The injury was a really bad one, he did great to come back and the lad just wants to get back to playing football.

“It would have been unfair to keep him and have him playing a bit part because that wouldn’t have got him up to speed.”

May moved to Aberdeen for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around the £500,000 mark.

He signed a four-year contract with the Scottish Premiership outfit.

The 24-year-old will wear the No.83 shirt at Aberdeen in honour of the Dons side which won the European Cup Winners' Cup final against Real Madrid in May 1983.

May told the Scottish media that Aberdeen's interest in him pre-dated Neil's arrival at PNE - Neil was a team-mate and briefly his manager during a loan at Hamilton Academical.

He said: "The first conversation I had with Alex Neil was telling him I wanted to go to Aberdeen.

“He didn’t know his squad well and who was available so he wanted a couple of weeks to get settled and look at everything.

“There were bids in when Alex Neil came to Preston and I don’t know what another manager would have done at that point.

“It was close to going through and if the old manager had stayed then it probably would have happened then.

“Obviously Alex Neil wanted to look at the squad first.

“We had discussions about how many games I needed because it had been a couple of years since I had played a good amount of football.

“In the end, he said letting me go was as much for me as for them.

“He couldn’t guarantee me the games that I need which is understandable.

“It is a credit to him that he allowed me to go when a lot of managers would have kept me there on the bench."