Gutted Stoke boss Nathan Jones admitted he is resigned to losing his job after his struggling side were beaten 1-0 by fellow strugglers Huddersfield.
Substitute Juninho Bacuna’s 82nd-minute goal inflicted an eighth league loss of the season on Jones’ misfiring team.
Stoke have now not won since February and are firmly rooted to the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship table.
And Jones admitted: “If I’m not getting the results I expect the inevitable to happen.
“But I’m not concerned. I was concerned after four days of taking the job, but I’m not concerned now.
“The league table doesn’t lie after 10 games, we just haven’t been good enough.
“It’s a wonderful club and the fans and owners have given me lots of patience, but we’ve lost our way and something has to change.
“I’ve had nine months to turn things around and, for one reason or another, I’ve not done it.
“It’s been tough on me and my family, but I just feel sad. It’s a great club but it just hasn’t worked out.
“I couldn’t have given it any more, I’ve given it everything I can.”
The Potters were poor from start to finish and were ultimately caught out by an old-fashioned counter-attack goal.
As they pushed for their own late winner, substitute Bacuna broke free and rifled a stunning right-foot shot into the top-right corner.
It was understandably tough to take for Jones, who added: “We just haven’t been good enough. We’ve lacked a killer instinct.
“There was a lot on the game and we got caught. I’m not sure it’s my worst performance as manager, but we haven’t been good enough.
“We lacked quality and belief in the final third and couldn’t break them down. We weren’t clinical enough.”
Victory for the Terriers was their first for 19 matches and their first away win since November 2018.
And it was no surprise that new boss Danny Cowley was delighted with his team.
“This is the type of gritty performance that you need to win games away from home,” Cowley said. “This win gives us something to build upon.
“This (the challenge) won’t be easy, but we saw enough fight and spirit to know we can do something.
“We carried threat on the counter-attack, but we fought harder at the other end when necessary.
“The substitutes came on and made a real impact for us, including the goal after we got a foothold in the game. Tonight was a real squad effort.
“We’re really pleased with the process, we’ve showed real resilience and determination.
“I thought we fought really hard and defended manfully when we needed to.
“We’re proud of the players for sticking with the game plan, that takes courage in itself.
“The subs brought a real dynamic threat for us, particularly on the counter-attack.
“I can lose and be happy and I can win and be happy, but that’s a really important win for the club and the staff.
“I don’t think everyone knows how hard it has been for the club and the strain it (a poor run of results) has put on everybody.
“I’m delighted for the supporters because they’ve been unbelievable. They’ve gone from disappointment to disappointment, but they’ve never lost enthusiasm.
“It was great for them to see a win and to put a smile on their faces.”
But Cowley added: “We haven’t got the fluidity that we would like, but we stayed true to our game plan.
“We knew we had to look after the ball better than we did at West Brom later in the game – and we did that.”
Cowley reserved special praise for match-winner Bacuna, and said: “Juninho Bacuna has everything you want in a player. His family will be proud.”
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