Applications have flooded in for vacant manager's role at Preston North End but Frankie McAvoy is focused on the job in hand

Preston North End have had around 60 applications and expressions of interest in their manager’s job this week.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 8:00 am

The Lilywhites sacked Alex Neil last Sunday and have put Frankie McAvoy in temporary charge for the remaining eight matches of the season.

Although it is likely to be closer to the summer before they choose a permanent successor to Neil, that had not stopped the CVs coming in.

North End have had their struggles of late, hence them parting company with Neil.

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Frankie McAvoy takes a training session this week (photo: courtesy PNEFC)

But it is still an attractive job in football and there will be no shortage of decent candidates.

A new favourite emerged with the bookies yesterday, Nicky Butt attracting a flurry of bets after announcing he was leaving his job as first-team development coach at Manchester United.

Butt jumped ahead of previous favourite Gareth Ainsworth who is 4/1.

Former Aberdeen boss Derek Innes is currently third favourite and St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson fourth – Davidson a familiar figure at PNE having spent seven seasons here as a player.

North End’s plan is to see the season out and appoint then, McAvoy tasked with the job of getting the points needed to keep them safe.

They are on 44 points and need to get beyond the 50 mark before breathing more easily.

McAvoy, 53, does not concern himself with the names of possible candidates doing the rounds.

His focus is on getting the squad ready for next Friday’s meeting with Championship leaders Norwich at Deepdale.

With regards to the speculation and bookies’ odds, McAvoy said: “It doesn’t bother me to be honest.

“The people who run this club are excellent, they are the ones who will make those decisions,

“All I can do is that having been given this fantastic opportunity to carry on from a fantastic manager who was here before, is to try and take Preston forward.

“I want the supporters to stick with us.

“At the end of the day I might not be everyone’s cup of tea in terms of choice but the one thing I can assure you is that I will give it everything I have got – with the help of the people behind me – to get the best out of these players.

“At the moment it is just about the eight games we have left and the full focus is on Norwich next Friday.”

McAvoy has most of the squad available to work with at Euxton during the break.

Only Alan Browne and Jayson Molumby are away on international duty.

Browne is suspended for the two Easter games, having so far served one game of a three-match ban for his red card at Middlesbrough.

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