Keeping Stoke in the top half of the table for three successive campaigns was followed by a drop to 13th last season and an unsuccessful transfer window with new signings having made little impression. This season they have fallen into the Premier League relegation places and have lost six of their last eight games in all competitions, having won only five league matches out of 22. Hughes did not help himself by fielding a weakened team in a 5-0 defeat at Chelsea last weekend to save players for what he felt was a more winnable game at home to lowly Newcastle United. They lost 1-0, dropping into the bottom three, before the FA Cup humiliation at Coventry in his 200th game at the club.
Mark Hughes 2017 for those interested. 11 PL wins from 40 games. Worst defensive record in Europe's top 5 leagues this season (46 conceded). Worst away record in the Premier League this season with one win. He also currently has a worse win ratio than his 3 predecessors.— Kristan Heneage (@KHeneage) January 1, 2018