Stoke City let manager Mark Hughes go following their FA Cup defeat on Saturday, after a run that saw them win just twice in 13 games.
The 2-1 defeat at Coventry City of League Two proved to be the final straw, after chants of ”Hughes out” had been heard from Stoke fans after Monday’s 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle. That followed a 5-0 drubbing at Chelsea two days earlier.
A club statement said: “We would like to thank Mark for all he has achieved for the club over the last four and a half years, notably in guiding us to three successive ninth-place finishes in the Premier League, and we wish him every success for the future.”
Stoke are in the Premier League relegation zone in 18th place on goal difference, with 20 points from 22 games. The club have also conceded the most goals of any team in the division — 47 from their 22 games.
Supporters had already been voicing their displeasure after 3-0 loss to West Ham on Dec. 16, and though the club turned things around with a 3-1 win over West Brom in the following game, a 1-1 draw with Huddersfield on Boxing Day did little to quell the tide of criticism before the latest setbacks.
Hughes was asked earlier this month about the spotlight being on him while Newcastle’s Rafael Benitez and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe were also struggling for results, and said: “At the moment it seems to be my turn.
“There’s a lot of clubs down there that you’d argue aren’t having the season they would’ve anticipated before it began. For whatever reason, a lot of those clubs have changed managers. This club hasn’t, correctly in my view.
“So maybe I’m just the next in line. Everybody else has gone and I’m the one that is last man standing! So it’s my turn, so I have to accept that. There are others as well, probably in similar situations — but maybe they’re untouchable.”
Hughes was appointed at Stoke on May 30, 2013, taking over from fellow Welshman Tony Pulis.
He had exactly 200 games in charge of the Potters, following spells in charge of QPR, Fulham, Manchester City, Blackburn and Wales.