Mark Hughes has never been the most loved bloke during his managerial career, and when he took up the Stoke City job, that was no different. There was a mixed reaction from the Potters, although there were more fans who were gutted than were delighted.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) May 30, 2013
In hindsight, Mark Hughes was a superb option at the Bet 365 Stadium, but he eventually past his sell-by date, and when he was eventually sacked, the club had left it too late and now they find themselves in the Championship because of it. However, in his heyday at Stoke, the former Manchester City manager actually had them playing football and led them to consecutive 9th placed finishes before slipping to 13th in his 4th year.
It was, however, in the Welshman’s 5th and final season as the Potters’ gaffer where he will be remembered for. Hughes was given the boot after an FA Cup 3rd round defeat away at League Two Coventry. The embarrassment of the cup exit, mixed with the fact that they sat in the relegation looking hopelessly like they couldn’t buy a win at the time meant that Hughes simply had to go, and confirmed the worst fears of those who had panicked about relegation after his arrival four and a half years earlier.
You can see exactly what those Potters had to say upon Hughes’ arrival here:
— Jay Midwinter (@jaymidwinter) May 30, 2013
@stokecity sack him now before he gets us demoted
— christopher cunliffe (@stokey35) May 30, 2013
— EmaRee 1973 (@emerym1) May 30, 2013
— Sam McEvilly (@McEverz) May 30, 2013
— Randy Lahey (@dopetweetsdepot) May 30, 2013
@stokecity Championship material if ever I saw it!
— Brian Coogan (@coogan2000) May 30, 2013
@stokecity we are doomed
— Wiltshire OPC Proj. (@wiltsopc) May 30, 2013
The Potters feared the worst when Hughes was appointed, and whilst things went well for the first few years of his time at the club, when they got bad they escalated quickly.