Alex Neil is planning to develop young players rather than spend big to gain promotion

He joined Saturday's Off the Ball ahead of the new season

BY Simon Maguire 21:12 Saturday 15 July 2017, 21:12 15 Jul 2017

Picture by: Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images

New Preston North End manager Alex Neil is looking forward to the challenge of attempting to win promotion to the Premier League with his new club.

The English side spent time in Cork ahead of the new season and the manager took some time out to speak to Off the Ball. 

Preston have finished in eleventh place on 62 points in each of their last two seasons in the Championship but the club's supporters appear content with their present position. 

"I think that's due to the fact that I think this season we'll be one of only five teams in the Championship which hasn't been in the Premier League," Neil told Nathan Murphy, adding: "It's not something that's natural or easy to do on this type of budget that we've got. 

"You spoke about some of the big boys coming down - some of the money they've spent in the Championship is huge, huge money so we're doing it in a different manner and we're doing it in a gradual process and trying to sign the best young players that we can - making them better, working as a team and it is achievable and we can do it but you need a little bit of fortune as well. 

"You need to keep players fit and you need to make sure they're at the top of their game as often as possible."

Neil reflected on his time in Scotland and how that has shaped his approach to his plans for Preston.

"At Hamilton, I has a couple of years where I could build a squad, signed some really good players and we had arguably the most successful period in the club's history. So that was a great time for me and I see this as a similar type challenge. 

"You know, the team has made good progress and now we want to try and take it that one step further so it's going to be a gradual thing. It's not going to happen overnight but I've got some exciting young players and I think they'll improve. 

"And, if they do improve, hopefully we can continue up the table," he added. 

Neil goes on to talk about the big Irish contingent at Preston and the full interview can be heard here: 

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