Kelly takes reins at Preston after Irvine is shown the door

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The Independent Football

Preston North End have announced assistant manager Robert Kelly is to take temporary charge following the sacking of Alan Irvine yesterday.

The Championship club axed the Scot little more than six months after he guided Preston to the play-offs. However, they have struggled in recent weeks and Monday's defeat by Sheffield United left them in 16th place, with just seven wins all season.

Chairman Derek Shaw said: "After discussions with Robert Kelly, he has agreed to take charge until any further announcements are made. He will be selecting the side for Saturday's game against Colchester United. 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 in October. In that period we have only scored six goals and that is not something we could allow to continue."

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