Stoke City are in the midst of a Premier League relegation battle this season, with the Potters seriously struggling towards the foot of the table so far this term.
Boss Mark Hughes’ position had been considered seriously under threat, and the former Manchester City and Blackburn manager’s fate was sealed on Saturday afternoon, as his side suffered a shock defeat at the hands of League Two Coventry City in the FA Cup. Now manager-less and facing a daunting trip to Old Trafford on Monday evening, fans from the Potteries here in The Transfer Tavern are extremely concerned as to the future of their club.
It was hoped a new appointment would be in place before the short trip to Manchester, but The Sun has today revealed that top target Slaven Bilic is not ready to return to management following his sacking from West Ham United earlier in the season, and Stoke must wait until next season if they are to secure the Croatian boss to the club. The news will come as a blow to chairman Peter Coates, who had reportedly hoped to land the former Croatian international, who has also been linked with the Australian national team role ahead of the World Cup.
Landlord’s Verdict: Slaven Bilic did a fantastic job at West Ham, guiding the club to three consecutive ninth-placed finishes before his sacking in November. The Croat was treated harshly by the East London outfit, and after over two years at the club, is enjoying some time away from the game with his family.
Bilic is the type of manager who can take Stoke to the next level, and draw the best from the current crop of players at the club. If Coates wants Bilic he may have to appoint an interim manager until the summer, and hope the short-term man can keep the Potters in the top flight this season. This would present a serious gamble, especially considering the prize to be a recently sacked manager.
Stoke fans, should your side bide its time and wait for Bilic? Let us know!