Paul Lambert has been named as the new Stoke City manager, replacing Mark Hughes.
The 48-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal at the Bet365 Stadium, the club announced today.
Lambert arrives in the Potteries with Premier League pedigree having previously managed Aston Villa and Norwich in the top flight.
The Scotsman will take charge of Stoke from tomorrow (January 16) and will be in the stands tonight when they travel to face Manchester United.
Lambert’s appointment comes just nine days after Hughes was dismissed following their FA Cup defeat at League Two Coventry City.
The club had previously approached Espanyol’s Quique Sanchez Flores and Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill but failed to attract either to the Bet365.
Lambert, who also had spells as head coach of Blackburn and Wolves, will be looking to repeat his rescue of Aston Villa in 2013/14 and keep Stoke in the Premier League.
Club Chairman Peter Coates added: “Paul greatly impressed us with his knowledge of our squad and had a clear plan of how he would improve our results.
“He’s a man who backed himself as a player, none more so than when he turned down contract offers in Scotland to go on trial in the German Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, and it’s obvious he adopts the same approach as a manager.”
Stoke’s first fixture under Lambert will be at home to Watford on Saturday, January 20.
Following that, the club’s next few games are crucial encounters with fellow strugglers Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Brighton.
Vice Chairman John Coates added: “Paul has been successful in management at clubs with a strong and stable background and with local ownership – the kind of foundation we are able to give to our managers.
“We were determined to appoint someone with Premier League experience or an extensive knowledge of English football. We look forward to working with Paul and supporting him to help achieve our goals.”
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(Photo by Richard Holmes)