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Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Darren Ferguson in frame at Preston North End - Shaw

Darren Ferguson
Ferguson led Peterborough to back-to-back promotions

Preston chairman Derek Shaw has suggested former Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson could be an an ideal candidate to replace Alan Irvine.

Irvine was sacked by North End on Tuesday following a run of one win in 10 games.

"Darren Ferguson did a fantastic job at Peterborough so he's obviously in the frame," said Shaw.

"We would be foolish not to consider him but there are several quality candidates out there."

Irvine guided Preston to the verge of the Premier League last season before they were knocked out in the play-off semi-final defeat against Sheffield United.

But with a lengthy list of potential replacements, which also includes former Wigan and Derby boss Paul Jewell as well as ex-Burnley manager Steve Cotterill, Shaw is in no rush to fill the vacant role.

"We'll go about our business quietly and efficiently because all the publicity surrounding Darren Ferguson when he left Peterborough was like an episode of the Muppet Show," he said.

"We will look at all our options very carefully and then go through the formal application and interview process.

"There's a few experienced managers out of work at the moment and there's one or two up and coming managers that we know about as well."

Irvine's former assistant Rob Kelly is in caretaker charge ahead of this weekend's FA Cup tie at home to Colchester.

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