Manager Phil Brown is sacked by Preston North End

Phil Brown
Brown led Preston to 15 wins, 15 draws and 21 defeats in 51 games

Preston North End have sacked manager Phil Brown after less than a year in charge at Deepdale.

The former Hull boss, 52, leaves with the club 10th in the table, only five points short of the play-off places.

"I appear to have been dismissed on the basis of the last 10 matches rather than the overall picture," said Brown.

Assistant boss Brian Horton has also left the League One club, while Graham Alexander and David Unsworth have been put in temporary charge.

Brown is the 12th English club manager to lose his job this season and his departure comes just eight days after Peter Ridsdale, formerly with Leeds, Barnsley, Cardiff and Plymouth, joined Preston as chairman.

Explaining the decision, Ridsdale told BBC Radio Lancashire that changing a manager was always "a big call".

He added: "The performances on the field in terms of wins have not been very impressive recently. We've been in a position of winning one league game in 11, we're out of all the cup competitions and what we as a board of directors had to do was to assess where we went from here for the rest of the season.

"With the territory comes the big calls to make the right decisions, and obviously time will tell if it's the right one. If we didn't believe it was the right decision, we wouldn't have taken it."

In a statement issued by the League Managers' Association, Brown acknowledged that recent results had been "disappointing" but insisted: "In order to be successful, more time was needed to achieve our objectives and it is with regret I have been given less than one year in charge of Preston North End.

Preston lost 4-2 at home to Colchester on the opening day of the season but, following a 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe in their next game, they then embarked on a run of seven successive league wins, taking them to second in the table.

Their form then deserted them before a 1-0 success at Hartlepool last month provided fans with a lift, but they could only manage a 0-0 draw with Stevenage last Saturday in Brown's final match in charge.

South Shields-born Brown, who clocked up 652 appearances in his playing career with Hartlepool, Halifax, Bolton and Blackpool, had his first taste of management at the Reebok Stadium, where he was put in temporary charge when Colin Todd left the club in 1999.

He then spent six years as Sam Allardyce's assistant before taking his first full-time management position with Derby County.

However, it was at Hull where Brown achieved his greatest success, guiding the Tigers to the Premier League via the play-offs at the end of the 2007-08 season, and keeping them in the top flight 12 months later.

He was not afraid to be unorthodox, giving his players a finger-wagging pep talk on the pitch at half-time in December 2008 during a match at Manchester City, which they eventually lost 5-1.

His relationship with Hull turned sour when he was put on gardening leave in March 2010 and his exit was confirmed three months later when an undisclosed compensation deal was agreed following reports that Brown was owed £1.4m by the club.

Brown returned to football when he was appointed at Deepdale following the sacking of Darren Ferguson in January 2011, when North End were bottom of the Championship.