Sean Gregan's exclusive column

Away win completes a great week for PNE boss

Sunday, 17th September 2017, 7:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:49 am
Preston North End's Daniel Johnson runs at the Birmingham City's defence

Preston have had a great week, with victories against Cardiff City on Tuesday night and then at Birmingham.

Saturday’s 3-1 win spelt the end for Harry Redknapp at St Andrews and I think that was their sixth defeat in a row.

It is puzzling that having given Redknapp £16m to spend on 14 new players, Birmingham decided to sack him at this early stage.

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A lot of those signings were made just before the deadline when his side had already had three defeats.

So it is not as if this bad run has only come about once Redknapp had got in the players he wanted.

Birmingham’s decision to sack Gary Rowett when they did is looking more and more bizarre by the day.

Gianfranco Zola’s reign was a disaster and it was only on the last day of the season that Birmingham escaped relegation in May.

Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for, the Birmingham owners didn’t want Rowett for some reason but look at how the club has slipped since?

Anyway, that is for them to sort out and I’m just glad that North End went there and got the win.

To get an away victory to follow-up the Cardiff result was brilliant.

Obviously, Preston had not previously won away this season – actually since the turn of the year – so a win was long overdue.

It is nice to see the goals going in too, with six in two goals a big boost.

Also bear in mind that it has been six different players on target – Harrop, Maguire, Browne, Johnson, Hugill and Barkhuizen.

I see that Browne scored from the centre-circle in the Cardiff game, but was it as good as mine at Norwich all those years ago?

Mine was with my ‘wrong’ foot! I say all that very much tongue in cheek because it was a great finish from Browne, a very good piece of opportunism.

Although it is early days in the season, dare the Preston dream that Alex Neil could get the club out of this league and into the top flight?

He did it at Norwich and also got Hamilton up in his first job in management.

It would be a tough ask here but Neil has hit the ground running as North End manager and you can’t help but be impressed.

Under him, the team are playing some nice football and there seems a balance about them with goals being added to their good defensive work at the other end.

I remember listening to Neil when he got the Norwich job in 2015.

He was a young manager from Hamilton and some people were wondering who he was.

Neil let the results do the talking, he is clearly a very driven person who knows what he wants.

Hopefully he can keep this good form going and have Preston challenging up there.

Next up are Millwall who are no one’s mugs, they beat Leeds 1-0 at the New Den on Saturday.

The onus will be on North End with them being at home and it will be interesting to see how they handle it.