Lack of alternatives keeps Mark Hughes in Stoke job for FA Cup tie


Mark Hughes is set to take charge of the FA Cup tie against Coventry but his Stoke future is hanging in the balance as the club consider ending his tenure.

Stoke are reluctantly weighing up whether to dismiss Hughes after a torrid run of results, though the lack of potential successors is complicating the hierarchy’s next move after talks on Tuesday.

Hughes has lost seven of the last ten Premier League games and his position is now under serious threat after the 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle, two days after he fielded a weakened team at Chelsea.

Peter Coates, the chairman, and his influential son John, who is the vice-chairman, plus chief executive Tony Scholes, will be the decision makers as the Staffordshire club deliberate over their first mid-season sacking since 1998.

Stoke’s top brass were determined to give Hughes until the summer before assessing whether to take the club in a different direction, as they did in 2013 when Tony Pulis left the club. However, results and performances are now forcing them to contemplate a decision they were desperate to avoid making.

Hughes is expected to still take the FA Cup tie at League Two promotion hopefuls Coventry this weekend while he is also scheduled to attend a recruitment meeting on Thursday, when the squad return to training after two days off.

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