Hughes feeling heat as Stoke start search for new manager
Stoke CITY are exploring their options for a replacement for under-pressure boss Mark Hughes, but the Welshman could be saved by the lack of inspiring candidates for the role.
Hughes' side lost 1-0 at home to Newcastle on Monday to fall back into a relegation battle. Having looked to leave behind a poor 2017, Stoke's latest loss makes it four points from their last seven games and the Coates family, who own and run the club, are aware that a change might be needed.
Many of those who Stoke might have considered have recently found new employment elsewhere and after surveying the market there seems little chance of hiring what would be considered an obvious upgrade on Hughes.
A further slip down the table and into the relegation zone may force the club's hand, but two of their top targets - David Wagner and Sean Dyche - are not understood to be interested in leaving their respective clubs in mid-season.
Roberto Mancini is the bookmakers' favourite but it would be a surprise to sources with knowledge of the Coates family's thinking if the Italian were to actually take over at the bet365 Stadium. (© Independent News Service)