Stoke have sacked manager Nathan Jones with the club currently second from bottom in the Championship losing 10 of their 14 league games this season. The Potters have just won six of his 38 games in charge.
He failed to address a decline at Stoke that was set in motion while Mark Hughes was still manager, which resulted to relegation from the Premier League in 2018.
Jones said: “I would like to thank John and Peter Coates, firstly for the opportunity to manage this football club and then for the continued support and patience throughout my time here.”
“I would also like to thank the supporters for their fantastic support. Finally, I wish the club the very best for the future.”
Sky Sports News understands Stoke do not have any current candidates lined up to immediately replace Jones.
Rory Delap, Kevin Russell and Andy Quy will take charge of the first team beginning with the visit of West Brom on Monday night, live on Sky Sports Football.
Ex-Stoke player Danny Higginbotham spoke to Sky Sports News following the decision. “It was inevitable,” he said. “In recent weeks they had those two wins when they beat Swansea and Fulham, but it just seemed to be papering over the cracks.
“It’s been a problem for Stoke since coming down from the Premier League when you really expected them to challenge to go back up. The challenge in the Championship is a lot more difficult than it used to be.
“When you look at the squad they shouldn’t be where they are in the league. It’s a very underperforming squad.”
“What you need in a dressing room or a club to have specific identity and big characters.
“Stoke had three ninth placed finishes with Bojan, Arnautovic, Shaqiri, some real game changers, but within that team as well there were also different types of players who would stand up to be counted when the going got tough.”
I went to the bet365 Stadium to get some reaction from the Stoke faithful and the response was wholly that the sacking was the correct decision.
City fan Martin Frost said: “The reaction is mixed, he’s a decent guy and has worked really hard but it’s not worked for him. We are at the bottom of the Championship and have to go up to the Premier league where we belong, and something had to be done and it appears to be done.”
Matt Briggs added: “He’s had to go, he’s not getting the results that this club desires and has spent a lot of money.
“Stoke has a very good fan base and is a great club but this club needs someone with experience and he’s had to go and should have gone a long time ago. I like the guy but it’s a results business and now the club needs someone to turn it around quickly.”
Matt Sandoz, BBC journalist and presenter, tweeted: “what a strange time. Two days before a game.”
Fans’ reaction via twitter:
– Bring back Mr.G! He’s available but be aware he’s obsessed with winning trophies!
-He’ll do class the next club he goes to. Owner has ruined the club. The downfall explains it.
– I can’t help feeling a little sadness about this. Such a likeable guy and I really wanted him to succeed. Football is about results though and this always seems to be the preferred (and easiest) way to make a change..