have parted ways with manager Mark Hughes.
It follows Stoke’s defeat in the FA Cup third round to League Two side Coventry City, which saw the Potters become the only Premier League club eliminated by lower league opposition so far.
Hughes, 54, had presided over a run of seven losses in 10 Premier League games, scoring eight and conceding 23 – more than any top-flight team in that timeframe. He leaves the club 18th place in the table and four points off the bottom.
A club statement issued on Saturday evening read: “Stoke City can confirm that the contract of manager Mark Hughes has been terminated with immediate effect.
“We would like to thank Mark for all he has achieved for the club over the last four and a half years, notably in guiding us to three successive ninth places finishes in the Premier League, and we wish him every success for the future.”
Stoke say they will look to appoint a new manager “as soon as possible”, with Roberto Mancini and Ryan Giggs the bookies’ favourites for the position.
Hughes joined the Staffordshire club in 2013, taking over from Tony Pulis. His achievements include guiding Stoke to three consecutive ninth-place finishes in the top tier, the club’s highest placing of the Premier League era and their best since 1975.
Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena saw Stoke fans display ‘Hughes Out’ banners, though immediately after full-time there was little indication the manager thought he would be removed from his post several hours later.
“Clearly, the only way to quieten down the noise around the club is to win games,” Hughes told BBC Sport
, “We need to turn it around and quickly.
“We’re good enough in this league – we’ve proved it during my tenure – but we’ve got to be better in key moments.
“We’re all under pressure. I can take the pressure and the focus. I’m not naive and I realise people will talk about my position.
“But we’ve got good owners who will make the right decisions for the club. They have done before and they’ll do it again.”
Stoke next play Manchester United in the league a week on Monday