Preston North End boss Alex Neil ready to go up against his former manager and Swansea assistant Billy Reid

Preston North End boss Alex Neil is looking forward to going up against a former manager of his when Swansea visit Deepdale on Saturday.

Billy Reid pictured during his time as Hamilton manager
Billy Reid pictured during his time as Hamilton manager

Graham Potter is the man at the Swansea helm, taking the job last June after Carlos Carvahol was sacked.

His assistant is Billy Reid, a man well known to Neil.

When Reid was Hamilton manager, he signed Neil as a player from Mansfield in 2005. Later, Neil was to succeed Reid in the New Douglas Park hotseat.

Billy Reid pictured during his time as Hamilton manager

Said Neil: “I have got a lot to be thankful to Billy for.

“I probably had my best years as a player under him.”

Reid and Potter have been in tandem for a while now.

They worked wonders in Sweden with Ostersunds FK, guiding them up the leagues into the top flight and also to the group stage of last season’s Europa League.

Neil said: “It was through Graeme Jones that Billy and Graham hooked up together.

“Graham was looking for a coach and Billy joined him.

“They did a remarkable job in Sweden, had real success over there.”

Potter is expecting a tough test from North End, as they did in Wales in August.

The Swans won 1-0 that day but came under intense PNE pressure in the second half and only just held out.

Said Potter: “In the home game we were fortunate to get a win to be honest.

“On another day it’s a different scoreline.

“I have a lot of respect for Alex’s team and how they play. We expect a really tough game.”

Swansea’s top scorer is Oli McBurnie with 10 goals.

After a draw and defeat at home over Christmas, Potter’s side won 4-1 at Reading on New Year’s Day and then beat Aston Villa in the FA Cup last week.