Peter Ridsdale paying no attention to bookies' odds for Preston North End manager's vacancy

Preston North End are taking little notice of the bookies over who will be their next manager.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 8:00 am

Since sacking Alex Neil there have been five different favourites for the job.

Grant McCann, Joey Barton, Nicky Butt, Gareth Ainsworth and Neil Harris have all at one time or another over the past week had the tag of favourite to succeed Neil.

The book for a managerial vacancy at Championship level tends to be quite small, with a handful of bets able to send someone shooting to the top of the list.

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Hull City boss Grant McCann is the current favourite with the bookies for the Preston manager’s vacancy (photo: Tony Johnson/JPI)

So it is not always that accurate a barometer for the way things are pointing.

North End’s full focus is on interim head coach Frankie McAvoy helping the team get the points they need to secure their Championship status.

They have had getting on for 60 applicants or expressions of interest in the vacancy.

Peter Ridsdale, advisor to PNE owner Trevor Hemmings, told the Lancashire Post: “We know who is out there.

“People have been putting the feelers out on us rather than the other way round.

“Frankie is in charge and we need to concentrate on getting the points we need.”

Hull City manager McCann went to the top of the betting yesterday.

The former Northern Ireland international has guided the Tigers to the top of League One, although he was at the helm when they slid dramatically down the Championship table last season and were relegated.

On Saturday night, Bristol Rovers boss Barton shot to the position of favourite.

Barton has only been with Rovers a few weeks, landing that job a month or so after being sacked by Fleetwood.

Former Manchester United and England midfielder Butt was well fancied towards the back end of last week after it was announced he had left his role of United’s head of first-team development.

Before that, Ainsworth was clear favourite, with him still a popular figure at Deepdale from his playing days.

When Neil was sacked a week ago yesterday, former Cardiff and Millwall manager Harris was installed as favourite but quickly dropped down the betting.

North End are 16th in the division, nine points ahead of third-bottom Rotherham, who have four games in hand.

Currently on 44 points, getting beyond the half-century mark would make them safe.

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