Irvine fears St Ledger exit
Alan Irvine fears Sean St Ledger will join Boro, while Paulo Sousa was upset by Swansea's failure to take their chances.
Last Updated: 12/09/09 9:15pm
Preston North End boss Alan Irvine fears Sean St Ledger will join Middlesbrough, while Paulo Sousa was disappointed by Swansea City's failure to take their chances.
Republic of Ireland defender St Ledger is a target for Boro, who are hoping to agree a loan deal with a view to a permanent move.
St Ledger stayed behind at the final whistle to applaud the Preston fans following Saturday's 2-0 victory over Swansea.
And, while Irvine does not want St Ledger to leave Deepdale, he understands a decision could be taken out of his hands.
Irvine said: "We know that there is an interest from Middlesbrough and we know that their interest is quite strong.
"Unfortunately nowadays the decision (to keep a player) doesn't always come down to the manager.
"Every player at this club will have his price, regardless of whether I want him to stay or whether the chairman and the board want him to stay.
"Sean St Ledger has been fantastic for us and the last thing I want to do is lose a good player.
"He's come on in leaps and bounds and is a lad who is desperate to learn and desperate to improve.
"He's very self-critical and is always looking to correct anything he does wrong.
"We've got a fantastic relationship and I hope that continues for a long time."
Neil Mellor and Stephen Elliott scored the goals to sink Swansea and Irvine was pleased with how his team went about their job.
Irvine added: "We knew that Swansea would be really well organised and if you don't do your job they will open you up.
"But we stuck to our task, created plenty of chances and could have won more comfortably in the end."
Since Roberto Martinez's defection to Wigan, and Sousa's subsequent appointment as his successor, Swansea have struggled badly and offered next to nothing at Deepdale.
A goal threat was seriously lacking and the withdrawal of the ineffective Lee Trundle, back at the Liberty Stadium on loan from Bristol City, after just 57 minutes said everything.
Sousa insisted: "I think that was one of our best games and the only thing missing was putting the ball in the net.
"Against a team like Preston it's important to take your chances when you get them.
"I'll keep believing in my players because of the amount of chances we created."