Mark Hughes’ future as Stoke manager is said to be under review, though the lack of suitable replacements could save the Welshman from the sack.
Hughes’s position is under threat with the Potters in 16th place, two points outside the bottom three, following a damaging 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle.
Boos and chants of ‘Hughes out’ greeted the final whistle on New Year’s Day at the Bet365 Stadium after Hughes’ gamble to rest his best players during the 5-0 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday backfired when the Potters failed to breakdown Rafael Benitez’s side, who leapfrogged their hosts and climbed to 13th place.
Hughes had been under pressure for some time prior to the festive period, though the Stoke hierarchy are renowned for being reluctant to change managers mid-season.
According to a number of sources, though, the club are currently reviewing Hughes’s position.
Sky Sports News reports the club’s owners, together with chief executive Tony Scholes, are concerned at a perceived lack of quality replacements, should they call time on Hughes’ reign.
Charlie Adam has leaped to the defence of his manager, while Jack Butland says “now is not the time to point the finger.”