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Preston North End's David Unsworth leaves club whilst Paul Coutts will captain the side

by Jamie Allen - @Jamie_Journo. Published Tue 24 Jan 2012 16:30
Coutts will captain PNE for their game this evening despite renewed transfer speculation
Coutts will captain PNE for their game this evening despite renewed transfer speculation

Preston North End have parted company with first-team coach David Unsworth, whilst new manager Graham Westley confirms Paul Coutts will captain his side.

Unsworth became part of the Deepdale coaching staff during Alan Irvine's reign as manager and remained under Darren Ferguson and Phil Brown.

The former Everton defender twice took caretaker charge of North End, most recently alongside veteran midfielder Graham Alexander following Brown's sacking in December.

However the arrival of Graham Westley from Stevenage, along with his assistant John Dreyer and coach Dino Maamria, means Unsworth's services are no longer required.

A statement on PNE's official website read: "As past of the ongoing restructure of the first-team management set-up, first-team coach David Unsworth has left Preston North End with immediate effect.

"The club would like to thank David for his hard work since joining the club. PNE wishes him all the best for the future."

In other news, Paul Coutts will skipper Preston North End against Notts County tonight amid speculation surrounding his future.

Reports suggested the 23-year-old midfielder had handed in a transfer request.

Coutts held talks with Graham Westley and North End chairman Peter Ridsdale before the weekend, but Westley has no intention of letting him leave Deepdale.

Westley said: “Paul spoke with the chairman on Friday and I had a chat with him on Friday night.

“Paul is wearing the captain’s armband, he wore it well on Saturday and will wear it again at Notts County.

“A player like Paul wants to know where the club is going, he wants to understand what the ambitions are, what the future looks like.

“I’m sure that once he gets to know me, gets to know the chairman and once he understands where the club is going, then he will dedicate his efforts to giving Preston what it wants which is consistent winning football.

“You can never say as a manager that any player is going to be at your club by the end of any transfer window.

“Another club could come along and offer £10m for him.

“If they did, who would we be to stand in his way?

“We would make a sensible decision under those circumstances.

“I have no intention of selling Paul and have an expectation of him staying at the club.”

Westley also revealed he wants to cut the size of his squad down from 37 to a more realistic figure.

“I don’t want to work with the number of players we have got at the club, there are far too many. Said Westley.

“That is not a financial pressure on me, it is a practical issue.

“If you are trying to deal with that many players, you won’t develop them as individuals and won’t develop a team environment either.

“You get too many lads who are disgruntled because they are in the background.

“That is no way for a club to carry on, so for sure, the squad will be narrowed down quite dramatically.”

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