Stoke City manager Mark Hughes ‘shocked’ by the sacking of Leicester City’s Claudio Ranieri

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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes said he was surprised by the sacking of last season’s Premier League winner Claudio Ranieri last night.

The former Leicester City boss was dismissed by the club just nine months after lifting the league trophy.

Hughes said: “Like most people, I was surprised and shocked.

“I suppose everyone assumes that given what he achieved last season with predominantly the same group of players, you’d expect him to have a bit more credit in the bank and that would see him through difficult periods.

“As we know it’s a result-driven business and they haven’t matched expectations and results haven’t been there for them, for whatever reasons.”

Ranieri becomes the second successive manager to lose his job the season after winning the league title, after Jose Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea last season.

However, Hughes said he believed it is too soon to know exactly what happened behind the scenes with Ranieri.

He added: “There’s a lot of assumptions at the moment about what’s gone on and nobody really knows until further down the line – maybe a couple of months when the real story comes out or why it’s happened.

“You would imagine first and foremost it’s the results and it’s a shame which shows how quickly the sport can change from the highs to the lows unfortunately.”

The Italian helped the Foxes become just the sixth different club to win the Premier League since 1992.

When asked about player power in the dressing room, he added: “Well that does happen and I’m aware of that.

“Managers will always take the majority of the blame but it’s never just their fault – in the future players will take their share of the blame but for now Claudio is getting all the focus in terms of who’s at fault, unfortunately.”

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