Preston North End have turned to Phil Brown as their man to replace Darren Ferguson and haul the club away from the relegation battle that threatens their Championship status.
Brown has been out of work since being ousted by Hull City in March 2010, having led the Tigers to their first ever seasons in the Premier League. Hull placed Brown on gardening leave in a failed attempt to arrest a decline into relegation at the end of 2009-10. The Wearsider has been on the search for work since the beginning of the season, though his media presence has not declined and he has remained a familiar figure on both television and radio.
Ferguson's sacking came on December 29, and led to the immediate withdrawal of two loanees from his father Sir Alex at Manchester United. Now, Brown, who has spent time training with Ferguson Senior during his period of unemployment, met Preston's players and took training for the first time on Thursday.
Brown said: ""Preston North End are a big club with great history and tradition and I am really looking forward to the challenge and opportunity.
"I would like to thank the chairman, owner and board of directors for putting their faith in me and whilst I know the current position is one we do not want to be in, I have every belief in the players' and my own ability to get us out of the situation we are in.
"The supporters of this football club are some of the most knowledgeable in the country and like them I want to see the club progress and I hope to be a part of a successful Preston North End."
Brown had been linked with the vacancy at Burnley, but has now committed himself to the other Lancashire club seeking a manager.