On this day: Preston North End launch David Moyes' managerial career

David Moyes kicked-off his managerial career 23 years ago today at Preston North End.

Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 3:00 pm

On January 12, 1998, Gary Peters stepped down as PNE boss after more than three years in charge to be replaced at the Deepdale helm by Moyes.

The Scot had been working as Peters' assistant and was the natural successor in the eyes of North End chairman Bryan Gray.

Although initially handed the job until the end of that season, Moyes was not seen as a caretaker boss in any way, shape or form by the PNE board.

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David Moyes at Deepdale on his first day as Preston North End manager in January 1998

He was their choice to take the club forward and was to repay the faith shown in him.

An early morning press conference at Deepdale attended by both Moyes and Peters, saw the decision explained.

Peters, who had guided PNE to the Third Division title in 1996, felt it was the right time to step-down and let Moyes take over.

He was to take a month off to recharge his batteries and mull over the offer of running PNE's school of excellence - a job he did accept.

David Moyes leads his first training session as PNE manager

Moyes was tasked with the job of getting North End heading up the Second Division after a drop in form in the previous three months.

There had been a protest by 100 fans after a 3-1 home defeat to Gillingham 48 hours earlier, with Peters anxious not to let things go any further on that front.

Speaking after his appointment, Moyes said: "I was 100% behind Gary and I didn't want to be in a situation where people thought I was trying to get his job.

"I always gave everything I had and we worked hand-in-hand together.

Gary Peters on the day he was replaced as Preston North End manager by David Moyes

"The Board had already told me that when the job came around, I would be the one taking over."

Moyes continued: "It is sad to see Gary go because he did such a good job here and it was only in the last three months that it really went wrong.

"The players have suffered a real loss of confidence and its now up to me to get it right and quickly.

"The mood in the dressing room has been relatively good but recently when they have gone over the white line, they have frozen.

"I think the escalator went to the basement level on Saturday. For me, there is only one was we can go now."

Moyes' appointment didn't stop so-called 'bigger' names being linked with the job, in particular that of Ian Rush.

Outside of Preston, Moyes was just seen as caretaker, with Rush touted for the job in the national media.

However, North End were firm in their stance that Moyes was the main man and so it proved, with him staying in the job for four years and two months.

At the time, Moyes said: "The chairman and his deputy are loyal and honourable men and I believe them when they say Ian Rush is not coming.

"I'm the manager until the end of the season and hopefully for a long time to come."

Moyes, now 57, has since managed Everton, Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham. He's currently in his second spell in charge of the Hammers.

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