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Stoke sack Michael O’Neill after poor start to the season

Stoke City v Middlesbrough – Sky Bet Championship – bet365 Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Stoke have sacked manager Michael O’Neill and placed assistant Dean Holden in interim charge.

The Potters have won only one and lost three of their opening five games in the Championship this season, and currently lie 21st in the table.

Stoke joint chairman John Coates said in a statement on the club’s website: “Michael joined us in November 2019 when the club was in a difficult situation and the job he did in stabilising our position in the Championship should not be underestimated.

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“Michael has worked tirelessly and with extreme professionalism, in particular in reshaping our squad and developing young players, but we feel the time is right to move in a different direction. I would like to thank him for his efforts and wish him every success for the future.

“Assistant manager Dean Holden will take interim charge of the first-team. The club has begun the process of appointing a new manager and will be making no further comment at this time.”

Former Northern Ireland boss O’Neill succeeded Nathan Jones at Stoke with them bottom of the second tier. They went on to finish 15th in 2019-20 season, then 14th in each of the next two campaigns.

The Staffordshire outfit – who this term have also been eliminated from the Carabao Cup by League One Morecambe – are next in action when they take on Blackburn at Ewood Park on Saturday.

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