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Preston sack manager Irvine

Preston North End boss Alan Irvine has been relieved of his duties at the Championship club. North End have won once in their last 10 games, slipping to 16th in the table, eight points away from danger.

The former assistant to Everton boss David Moyes took charge at Deepdale on 20 November 2007, following the sacking of Paul Simpson.

Little more than six months ago he guided them into the Coca-Cola Championship play-offs.

Yet the Lancashire club have struggled badly in recent weeks and the chairman Derek Shaw decided to act after yesterday's 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United left Preston with just one win in their last 10 league outings.

Shaw said: "The decision was not taken lightly. Alan did an extremely good job in keeping us in the Championship and took us to the play-offs last season. However, after a good start to the 2009-10 campaign we have only picked up seven points from a possible 30 since our last away victory against Sheffield Wednesday on 20 October.

"In that period we have only scored six goals and that sort of record is not something we could allow to continue without addressing it."

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