Just when Mark Hughes thought things couldn't get any worse, along came Coventry. Stoke headed to the Ricoh Arena on the back of a woeful result and performance against Newcastle, but the FA Cup tie offered them little respite. They were beaten 2-1 by The Sky Blues, and it proved to be the final straw for the Stoke hierarchy.
Stoke's form has nosedived this season and they are 18th in the Premier League on 20 points. There is no denying that Hughes did a fine job in his first couple of seasons at Stoke. However, this term has been a complete disaster. The only surprise is that it took the board so long to act, and it will be fascinating to see who replaces him.
Coventry Defeat Costs Hughes
Jack Rimmer's 68th minute winner was the final nail in the coffin of Hughes' time at Stoke. A win would have prolonged Hughes' agony, as the axe was likely to fall sooner rather than later. The club confirmed the dismissal with a short message on Twitter.
It read: “Stoke City can confirm that the contract of manager Mark Hughes has been terminated with immediate effect.” Not many will be surprised by the decision, and some supporters will be delighted by it. The big question now is, who is next for Stoke?
Who Will Stoke's Next Manager Be
There is sure to be lots of speculation as to who will be the next Stoke manager. At the moment Ryan Giggs is the bookies' favourite, but we can't see that as Stoke are likely to opt for experience and a safe pair of hands.
They can't afford to take a chance on an unproven rookie given their current Premier League position. This could be one of the most important appointments they ever make. Relegation would be a disaster for Stoke, and they will try to survive using any means (or manager) necessary.