StrugglingBrown moves on at Preston

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The Independent Football

Craig Brown has left Preston North End by mutual consent, becoming the first Championship managerial exit of the season.

Craig Brown has left Preston North End by mutual consent, becoming the first Championship managerial exit of the season.

The former Scotland coach left Deepdale after holding talks with the club's chairman Derek Shaw yesterday morning following Preston's 1-0 defeat by struggling Brighton - their third consecutive loss.

A statement from Shaw read: "I would like to put on record my sincere thanks for all Craig's efforts and it is sad for myself and everyone connected to the club that such a fine ambassador will be leaving. This is a very difficult decision as these people become very close, but we have agreed, in the best interests of Preston North End, that it is time for a change."

The first team coach Billy Davies will step up until the club can appoint a successor. Brown said: "It has been a privilege to work with such a fine club and it goes without saying that I wish everyone associated with Preston North End good fortune in the future.

"This time last year we were in a similar position then went on a run to take us to a play-off position by January. I feel strongly that this is very possible yet again.

"I know the team is in the hands of an extremely capable coach and I am sure that Billy is the man to bring success to the club."

Preston are fifth from bottom of the Championship with only four points from five games. Brown took over after David Moyes' departure to Everton in April 2002, winning 36 of his 109 games in charge, losing 40 and drawing 33.

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