Mark Hughes: Stoke consider manager’s future

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Hughes walks out of news conference

Stoke are considering the future of manager Mark Hughes after a disappointing first half of the season.

The board of directors have not met to formally discuss Hughes’ position, but are weighing up their options after Monday’s home defeat by Newcastle.

Hughes remains in his post and is preparing the team for Saturday’s trip to Coventry City in the FA Cup.

The Welshman is expected to conduct the pre-match news conference on Thursday, and take charge of the game.

However, his position is under review with Stoke two places above the Premier League relegation zone having lost seven of their past 10 Premier League games.

Asked after the game against Newcastle if his four-and-a-half-year reign at Stoke was under threat, Hughes replied: “Who else is going to do it?”

The 54-year-old added: “In terms of the knowledge of the group and the progress in my time here, I’m the best person to do it.”

Whether Hughes stays or not, money will be made available to strengthen the playing squad in the January transfer window.

I am still best-placed to manage Stoke – Hughes

Stoke have taken 20 points from their opening 22 league games this season – their worst haul at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1984-85, when they had just 11 points.

Monday’s loss came after Hughes rested a number of key players for Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing by Chelsea, something he said was “necessary” before the game against Newcastle.

Stoke have conceded five goals or more in three Premier League games this season and have let in a total of 47 goals – the most in the division.

Their next league match is a visit to Old Trafford to play second-placed Manchester United on 15 January.

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