Following a poor start to the season, lingering in the relegation zone with only five wins in twenty two matches in the Premier League, Stoke City relieved Mark Hughes of his duties with the shock defeat to Coventry in the FA cup the nail in the coffin.

By 90Min
January 07, 2018

Following a poor start to the season, lingering in the relegation zone with only five wins in twenty two matches in the Premier League, Stoke City relieved Mark Hughes of his duties with the shock defeat to Coventry in the FA cup the nail in the coffin.

To replace him, Sky Sports have mooted that the Potters are after Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and Gary Rowett, who is exceeding expectations at high-flying Derby County, chasing an automatic promotion spot to the Premier League as they sit in second place in the Championship.

The writing was on the wall for Hughes, after the Welshman struggled to turn around a poor run of form including five defeats in the past seven league matches. With Stoke releasing a statement indicating they will "look to appoint a new manager as soon as possible", the early reports suggest the front-runners for the position are O'Neill and Rowett.

Experienced Republic of Ireland boss O'Neill would be a solid choice, even if on a temporary basis until the end of the season as the 65-year-old could combine it with his work on the international stage. 

With previous spells in the Premier League at the the likes of Aston Villa and Leicester City, his nous could guide them clear of relegation.

Meanwhile at Derby, Rowett may want to see the job through at Pride Park after a fantastic start to season. Trailing behind run away Championship leaders Wolves, there is only seven points between automatic promotion and missing the play-off places.

With no Premier League experience, the opportunity to take over an established club could be too good to turn down, but the Potters will want to act quick to ensure all the focus is on remaining in the Premier League.

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