Stoke City chairman Peter Coates will continue to back Mark Hughes as manager at the club, despite the fact that results have been lacking in recent times.
Coates contacted Hughes after Saturday's defeat to Bournemouth at the bet365 stadium, to discuss Hughes' performance, and while he's keen to stick by Hughes for now, Coates did admit he was slightly concerned with his side's current run of form.
The relationship between Chairman and Manager at Stoke has remained a healthy one in a turbulent time for Premier League managers, spanning over four-and-a-half years now, but Coates is hoping for an upturn in performances under Hughes in the coming weeks.
Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel, he said: “We have winnable games coming up which we need to win. We need to get back to winning. I feel we have got a good squad that should be capable of competing in this league and nothing has changed my view on that.
“I am concerned about the last two poor results and we need to do better. But I did say two poor results. I don’t think results have been poor up to then.”
Coates then commented upon the recent discontent shown from a number of Stoke City fans, adding: “If you perform poorly you are going to get a reaction from supporters, that’s normal, that’s football.
“I have no problem with that because it’s part of football. We are seeing it at West Ham and Everton at the moment.”
Speaking on the Bournemouth defeat, he said: “It was a game we felt we needed to win and should win, but we came out very flat and it was a very disappointing performance.
“It did surprise me because I thought we would come out on the front foot. We were at home and after a bad result the week before you expect a reaction, but I didn’t see it. We were much better second half, but in my experience if you concede two goals you very rarely win football matches.”
A positive for Stoke ahead of their favourable run of fixtures is that star man Xherdan Shaqiri is set to return to the first team, after suffering a minor ankle sprain against Manchester City. The performances are certainly less "flat" with him in and around the attacking third.
One thing is for sure though, Stoke City need points, or this amicable relationship between board and manager could be turned on it's head. It's the nature of the beast.