Alex Neil: Preston boss says focus is on North End amid West Bromwich Albion rumours – BBC Sport

Alex Neil: Preston boss says focus is on North End amid West Bromwich Albion rumours - BBC Sport

Report: West Bromwich Albion set to move for Alex Neil

Preston North End boss Alex Neil has said he is not concerned about speculation linking him with the vacant role at West Bromwich Albion.

The Scot, who takes his Preston side to The Hawthorns on Saturday, is currently the odds-on favourite to succeed Darren Moore.

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“Im manager of Preston and people will talk as much as they want to talk,” he told BBC Radio Lancashire.

Albion have been under the caretaker charge of first-team coach James Shan since sacking Moore in March.

West Brom preparing to make significant move in managerial search

He won his first three games but successive defeats by Millwall and Bristol City have all but ended their automatic promotion hopes.

There wasn’t much Shan could have done about the defending for the Bristol City goals. Jake Livermore played a horrendous pass for the opening strike after just a minute, whilst Conor Townsend was caught out at the back post by a stooping header from Jack Hunt for the third.

Shan does not think the former Hamilton and Norwich boss, who led the Canaries to the Premier League via the play-offs in 2015, will be affected by the rumours.

The club needed a leader and for someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. Brunt isn’t someone who can change the game as such with the ball at his feet, but mentally he could have been able to prevent some of the madness that happened in the opening 19 minutes.

“I havent read too much into whos been speculated. You always have speculation around a club of this stature. The club are going to attract some big names and some good names,” he told BBC WM.

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“Were in a professional industry and you tackle one game at a time. Alex has done a very good job there and theyre within a shout of getting in and around the play-offs. His focus, no doubt, will be the best possible job he can do for Preston.”

Albion are fourth in the Championship table, while Preston have slipped eight points off the play-offs following the midweek round of fixtures.

The Hawthorns club could turn to the Preston gaffer in their bid to return to the Premier League via the play-offs.

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At 3-0 down there were chants of sack the board from an angry away end. James Shan did well to stabilise Albion following Darren Moores sacking but now the rudderless Baggies are limping into the play-offs with no recognised manager in the dugout and in desperate need of some leadership from the top.

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