PNE boss Alex Neil says Deepdale strategy will lead to success

Alex Neil likes the business model Preston have in place and is confident it will lead to success.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 11:11 am

While many budgets in the Championship are larger than that of PNE, Neil managed to steer them to seventh place in the season just finished.

That was a challenge which the Scot thoroughly enjoyed meeting in his first campaign as North End manager and the planning is well under way for a second term.

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North End manager Alex Neil

Again there will be bigger budgets elsewhere but Neil likes what he has got to work with.

“You have to have a sound business plan,” Neil told the Post.

“People will say why don’t you go and spend money, run after it?

“But that is why you can end up in a mess.

“What you need is a plan for the immediate, a plan for the medium term and a plan the longer term – you need a strategy in place.

“I have worked with this kind of model before, it suits me down to the ground.

“As a manager you have to run with a model in the same way as if you had created it yourself.

“The big thing here is that I believe in the plan.

“When I first came to the club, Peter Ridsdale said we wanted to build, grow and keep pushing forward.

“I was thinking, ‘Happy days, I’ll crack on, get it done, get the younger boys in’.

“Here I wanted to create a really functional team, get them motivated, dynamic and driven.

“You saw what we did this season, how we got close to the play-offs.”

Neil likes the balance he has in the North End squad, at its core a young group of players.

Helping them to move in the right direction have been experienced campaigners such as Paul Huntington, Tom Clarke, Paul Gallagher, Greg Cunningham and John Welsh.

Said Neil: “We have lads who are trying to find their way in the game.

“For that to happen you need to counter it with a bit of experience too.

“We have experienced pros here, they are good lads, solid professionals, solid citizens in terms of being able to rely on them.

“That takes care of the changing room, which is so important.

“I think the balance we have is excellent.”

In terms of next season, Preston got their transfer business started late last week with the signing of midfielder Ryan Ledson from Oxford.

Neil has more targets for the summer, with a striker, a winger and a central defender on the shopping list.

On the exit front, Preston are looking to offload the five players who were loaned out last season.