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On this day in 2018: Stoke sack manager Mark Hughes

Coventry City v Stoke City – FA Cup – Third Round – Ricoh Arena
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Stoke sacked manager Mark Hughes on this day in 2018 after their shock FA Cup exit at the hands of League Two Coventry.

Hughes, who had been in charge for four-and-a-half years, was dismissed just hours after a humbling 2-1 defeat at the Ricoh Arena.

The struggling Potters had won just one of their previous eight games in all competitions and had slipped into the Premier League relegation zone on New Year’s Day following a 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle.

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Hughes said immediately after Stoke’s cup exit that it “might be a blessing” for the rest of the season, but then came the club’s announcement.

A section of Potters fans had been calling for the club’s owners to sack Hughes and held up banners during the third-round tie.

Former Manchester City, Blackburn, Fulham and QPR boss Hughes had succeeded Tony Pulis in May 2013 and was the top flight’s fourth longest-serving manager.

The Welshman had guided Stoke to three successive ninth-placed finishes before ending the previous term in 13th position.

Stoke could not avoid Premier League relegation after sacking Mark Hughes in January 2018

Stoke could not avoid Premier League relegation after sacking Mark Hughes in January 2018 (Nigel French/PA)

Paul Lambert was announced as Hughes’ permanent successor on January 16 but he was unable to prevent the club from being relegated to the Championship following a 10-season stay in the top flight.

Hughes, the seventh Premier League manager to lose his job during the 2017-18 campaign, was appointed Southampton boss in March 2018, replacing Mauricio Pellegrino.

He was sacked by Saints less than nine months later and is yet to return to the dugout.

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