Report: Former Preston boss Alex Neil becomes contender for Sunderland job
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Report: Former Preston boss Alex Neil becomes contender for Sunderland job

Former Preston boss Alex Neil could end up making a return to management amid claims he is in the running to become the new Sunderland boss.

The Northern Echo have reported that Neil has emerged as a candidate for the Sunderland job in recent days.

Sunderland sacked Lee Johnson last weekend and are now hunting for a replacement as they cling onto hope of automatic promotion.

Roy Keane appears to be the favourite, but it’s claimed that Neil is alongside Neil Warnock, Duncan Ferguson and Neil Lennon in the running for the job.

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Neil has been out of management since being sacked by Preston back in March after a run of one point in five games.

The wider context was three wins in 16, with Neil ultimately unable to arrest North End’s slide in early 2021.

That shouldn’t overshadow years of great work from Neil, who performed admirably under difficult circumstances at North End.

It’s honestly a surprise Neil hasn’t got a job again yet.

There have been links to the likes of Hibernian, Sheffield United and Aberdeen, but Neil remains out of the game almost a year since leaving North End.

Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images,

Neil’s time will come. The Scot is a quality manager who has so much to offer, and some forget that he is still only 40.

Sunderland may well see Neil as the man to drag them out of League One, and such a move would feel a little ironic.

When Simon Grayson quit Preston to take the Sunderland job in 2017, he was replaced by none other than Alex Neil.

Grayson didn’t fare well at Sunderland and was quickly sacked, whilst Neil enjoyed a superb first season as North End boss.

Approaching five years on, Neil’s next move after leaving Preston could be Sunderland – but he’ll have to beat Keane to the post.

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