On air
  • RFI English Live
  • Latest Bulletin
  • RFI French Live

Sport Football England

Issued on • Modified

Loss at Sky Blues signals end of Hughes

Mark Hughes is the seventh Premier League manager to lose his job this season. Reuters/Carl Recine

Mark Hughes was sacked as manager of Stoke City on Saturday just hours after his side lost 2-1 in the FA Cup third round at fourth tier Coventry City.

Hughes, 54, took over from Tony Pulis at Stoke in May 2013 and he was under pressure following his team’s dismal showing in the English Premier League where they lie in the relegation zone with 20 points after 22 games.

Despite their abject performances in the top flight, they were expected to advance against Coventry City - nicknamed the Sky Blues - a team playing three divisions beneath them. 

But Jordan Willis gave the hosts the lead with a header after 24 minutes. However, saint turned sinner nine minutes into the second-half when he fouled Ramadan Sobhi in the penalty area.

Charlie Adam converted the spot kick to level. The visitors, however, failed to exploit their momentum and they conceded again 20 minutes from time when right-back Jack Grimmer thrashed home past goalkeeper Jack Butland from the edge of the penalty area.

It was the first time since January 1938 that Stoke – competing as a first division team - were eliminated from the competition by a side from the fourth division or below.

"Stoke City can confirm that the contract of manager Mark Hughes has been terminated with immediate effect," a statement on the club's Twitter account said.

"We would like to thank Mark for all he has achieved for the club over the last four and a half years, notably in guiding us to three successive ninth places finishes in the Premier League, and we wish him every success for the future.

"The club will look to appoint a new manager as soon as possible.”

Hughes is the seventh Premier League manager to be sacked this season. Frank de Boer was the first to go. He left Crystal Palace in September after less than three months in charge.

Leicester City parted company with Craig Shakespeare on 17 October. Six days later Ronald Koeman's stint at Everton was ended. Pulis was replaced at West Brom in November and Swansea City dismissed Paul Clement last month.