Stoke fires Hughes after FA Cup loss to 4th-tier Coventry
January 05, 2018(AP)(STL.News)—Stoke fired manager Mark Hughes on Saturday following an FA Cup loss to fourth-tier Coventry that heaped more embarrassment on a team fighting against relegation from the Premier League.
Hughes was in charge for 4 1/2 years, guiding the club from central England to three straight ninth-place finishes in his first three seasons.
This season, however, Stoke has been undermined by defensive problems — it has conceded 47 goals in 22 games in the league, more than any other team — and has lost eight of its last 11 games.
The 2-1 loss to Coventry in the third round of the FA Cup proved to be a final humiliation for Hughes, who was fired three hours later.
In a brief statement, Stoke said it would look to hire a replacement “as soon as possible.”
Stoke is in 18th place in the 20-team Premier League, the final relegation spot.
Hughes, a former Manchester United striker, had exactly 200 games in charge of Stoke, following spells as coach of Queens Park Rangers, Fulham, Manchester City, Blackburn and Wales’ national team.
After taking over from the pragmatic Tony Pulis, Hughes tried to make Stoke more expansive and bought a number of talented players from across Europe who had