At that point, in January 1998, the Lancashire club were in danger of dropping down to the fourth tier of English football. Barely two years later, Moyes guided North End to the 1999/2000 Division Two title, clear of regional rivals Burnley by seven points.
The following season, with almost the same squad, Moyes’ Preston came within a whisker of promotion to the Premier League. That attracted Everton’s attention and Moyes moved to Merseyside in March 2002.
Well-organised and disciplined, Moyes’ teams tend to echo his own traits. He also boasts an excellent record against the “modern” Manchester City, having won seven and drawn one of his 10 meetings with them since Sheikh Mansour's takeover in early 2008/09.
This sequence includes two doubles – victories at home and away in the same season – and four consecutive wins at Goodison Park. The last of these, 2-0 on 16 March 2013, helped United go 15 points clear in the title race as the Reds defeated Reading 1-0 later that day.