Saturday 22 September 2018

Cup defeat the final straw as Stoke end Hughes' reign

Coventry 2 Stoke City 1

Jordan Willis of Coventry City celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides first goal Photo: Getty
Jordan Willis of Coventry City celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides first goal Photo: Getty

Ricoh arena

Stoke last night sacked manager Mark Hughes, deciding to sever ties with the former Manchester United forward following the FA Cup third round defeat by Coventry.

"Stoke City can confirm that the contract of manager Mark Hughes has been terminated with immediate effect," the club said in a statement on their official Twitter feed.

Charlie Adam
Charlie Adam

"The club will look to appoint a new manager as soon as possible and will be making no further comment at this time."

Among the names being mentioned last night as early targets for Stoke are Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, who has yet to sign a new contract with the FAI, and his Northern Ireland counterpart, Michael O'Neill.

Hughes was appointed at Stoke on May 30, 2013, taking over from fellow Welshman Tony Pulis. He leaves the club 18th in the Premier League standings and with only one win in their last eight games in all competitions. Hughes had exactly 200 games in charge of the Potters, following spells in charge of QPR, Fulham, Manchester City, Blackburn and Wales.

Jack Grimmer's winner for Coventry proved to be the final straw for the under-fire manager as the Potters were dumped out of the FA Cup.

Jack Grimmer of Coventry City scores his sides second goal Photo: Getty
Jack Grimmer of Coventry City scores his sides second goal Photo: Getty

Charlie Adam had cancelled out Jordan Willis's opener but League Two outfit Coventry outfought and outfoxed the Premier League strugglers.

Coventry boss Mark Robins scored the goal in 1990 against Nottingham Forest which is widely accepted to have saved Alex Ferguson's job at Manchester United, a team which included Hughes.

Now Hughes' former team-mate condemned him to the sack after a deserved victory for the hosts.

It was a scrappy game, not helped by the Ricoh Arena's terrible pitch which had been ravaged by the ground-share with rugby outfit Wasps.

Stephen Ireland made his first appearance for Stoke since May 2016 after recovering from a broken leg, but Coventry stunned their Premier League visitors to secure the win that will be remembered for ending Hughes' reign.

 

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