Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth is the subject of fresh links to the Preston North End hotseat after his side’s 2-1 victory over Bristol City on Wednesday.

With the season gradually drawing to a close, Preston are expected to name a permanent manager this summer.

Nicky Butt, Roy Keane and interim boss Frankie McAvoy are amongst the names in the running, but Ainsworth is the bookmakers’ favourite after his heroics with Wycombe since 2012.

The Chairboys were down in League Two as recently as 2018, before two quickfire promotions in three seasons brought them to the dizzying heights of the Championship for the first time in their history.

This season, Wycombe have held their own despite having a drastically smaller budget than the rest of the division. They look likely to go down, but to still be in contention with three games remaining is an incredible accomplishment in itself.

Given that Ainsworth had three spells as a Preston player, most notably between 1993 and 1995 when he made over 100 appearances for the club, the touted move seems a logical one.

After a run of three wins in their past five outings, including the most recent 2-1 comeback victory over Bristol City, Robins boss Nigel Pearson was full of praise for his opposite number: “I applaud him and the club for the way they have handled themselves and they’ll be looking to bounce back.

“They’ll be even better prepared for their next foray into the Championship, when that happens. He’s a man that should take a lot of credit for the way they have enjoyed success.”

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