Last updated : 30 August 2004 By editor

From The Guardian:

'Craig Brown became the first Championship managerial casualty of the season when his contract at Preston North End was terminated by mutual consent yesterday.

The former Scotland manager's two-year tenure at Deepdale came to an end after talks with Preston's chairman Derek Shaw yesterday morning. Shaw was anxious to act following Saturday's 1-0 loss at Brighton, which was Preston's third consecutive defeat - a result that prompted an angry response from a section of their travelling supporters.

Brown had expressed his determination to stay following the match, saying: "I hear the shouts but I'm a fighter and I'll fight to help us get the result we need." However, yesterday Shaw announced that Brown had stepped down "with immediate effect".

Brown said that he was "not shocked" by the decision, though he suggested that Shaw had acted rashly. "The chairman is impatient for success and so are the fans so I fully understand their point of view," said Brown. "After five games it is a bit hasty. We have lost the last three games by the odd goal."

"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."