Stoke City finds itself in a relegation scrap, and Mark Hughes could pay the price.
Mark Hughes has reportedly held talks with Stoke City's board amid claims that he is facing the sack imminently.
The Potters boss has seen the pressure on his position in Staffordshire increase exponentially over the festive period thanks to a 5-0 thrashing away at Chelsea and a 1-0 home loss to Newcastle United.
The meeting, according to the Daily Mail, was already in place to conduct talks with Hughes over potential January targets but the club's chairman and vice-chairman - Peter and John Coates - will also use the discussions to try and get to the bottom of Stoke's horrendous league form this season.
Hughes has faced calls from Stoke supporters to be sacked after the Bet365 Stadium-based outfit fell into the bottom three following that defeat to the Magpies - a stretch of results that has yielded just 20 points from 22 Premier League games.
Hughes has been in defiant mood as he stated that there was no other manager who had the ability or knowledge of Stoke to get them out of their current malaise, but the Coates family will surely be the judges of that.
Stoke's board met Hughes face-to-face on Thursday and have apparently informed the Welshman that he will at least take charge of the FA Cup third round tie against Coventry City on Saturday.
In the meantime, the club's hierarchy has begun searching for a new potential boss in the even that Stoke suffer an almighty embarrassing cup exit to the Midlands side,
Coates is keen to avoid a mid-season change if it can be avoided, but knows that the growing dissenting voices in the stands may force his hand if results don't markedly improve under Hughes in the next couple of weeks.
Stoke would likely plump for a British manager with experience of working in England's top flight if they dispensed with Hughes, but it is unclear just who they may target in that event.