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Preston-linked Dean Holden has joined Stoke City instead, will immediately face North End

A strange rumour emerged from Football League World on Friday, as they reported that Preston were considering Dean Holden for their managerial vacancy.

Alex Neil’s exit last month means Preston are looking for a new boss, and Holden was allegedly one name on the list.

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That was a surprise; Holden was sacked by Bristol City in February and didn’t exactly pull up any trees in charge of the Robins.

The 41-year-old wouldn’t really set pulses racing if appointed by Preston, but Holden has now seemingly ruled out that move by making a surprise switch of his own.

Just days after those links of becoming Preston boss, Holden has become the new assistant manager at Stoke City.

Holden will now work with Michael O’Neill, and the great irony is that his first game in the Potters dugout will be against – you guessed it – Preston.

Stoke parted ways with assistant Billy McKinlay by mutual consent just a couple of days ago, and they have moved quickly to land Holden.

Barring a surprise turn of events, you can seemingly cross Holden off the list of potential Preston managers, and he’ll now want to beat North End to get his Stoke career off to a positive start.

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