An FA Cup tie against League Two opposition presented former Stoke City boss Mark Hughes with the perfect opportunity to get his career in the Potteries back on track this weekend, with the Staffordshire side struggling in the league under the former Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers manager.
However a devastating 2-1 defeat at The Ricoh Arena against Coventry City proved to be the final nail in Hughes’ coffin, with the manager sacked just hours after the shock loss. Stoke fans here in The Transfer Tavern were quiet for most of the evening, keeping their heads down in case a lone Port Vale fan popped up to mock their city rivals for their embarrassing defeat. With the coast clear however, fans perked up, and talk quickly turned to who would be appointed Hughes’ successor in the coming weeks. With a trip to Old Trafford fast approaching, fans are keen to see a new man appointed sooner rather than later, and our landlord caught up with fans as they engaged in a game of darts.
Several names were touted as ideal candidates for the job, before the majority settled upon Derby County boss Gary Rowett as the ideal candidate to lead the club to Premier League safety. Rowett has worked wonders with the Rams this season, transforming the Pride Park outfit into clear automatic promotion contenders with an excellent run of winter form, despite losing key men Tom Ince and Will Hughes to the Premier League in the summer. As it stands Rowett’s side are set to swap places with Stoke at the end of the season, but chairman Peter Coates will hope to put together an appealing package to tempt both Rowett and Derby into a change.
Impressing with Burton Albion and Birmingham City before his switch to Pride Park, the 43-year-old looks to be the real deal, and whatever happens in the coming weeks, appears to be likely to manage in the top flight next season.
Stoke fans, is Rowett your choice to replace Hughes this month? Let us know!