Michael O'Neill linked with vacant Stoke post

Michael O'Neill linked with vacant Stoke post

Stoke hope to make a quick appointment after sacking manager Mark Hughes.

The Potters are eager to have a new man in place before they travel to Manchester United a week on Monday, it is understood.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill and Derby boss Gary Rowett are among those to have been linked with the role at the bet365 Stadium.

Hughes was dismissed after Saturday's shock 2-1 FA Cup third-round defeat at League Two Coventry.

Stoke are in the Premier League relegation zone after winning two of their last 12 league games and lost 1-0 to Newcastle on New Year's Day which put Hughes on the brink.

The former Wales boss put himself under pressure to beat the Magpies, after making six changes for their 5-0 defeat at Chelsea 48 hours earlier, only to see his side lose.

It left the Potters' board considering his future and assessing their options last week.

Hughes, who replaced Tony Pulis in 2013, was axed following his 200th game in charge.

Charlie Adam's penalty cancelled out Jordan Willis' opener at the Ricoh Arena but Jack Grimmer struck in the 68th minute to send the hosts through to the fourth round.

Before he was dismissed on Saturday evening Hughes believed the FA Cup exit could have been a blessing in disguise.

He said: "The fact we've gone out, even if it's a little bit raw at the moment, might help us.

"At the moment we don't want to discuss Premier League games but maybe when we wake up on Monday the reality clearly has to be our league form."

He questioned whether the result would affect his future, and added: "It just highlights we need to do better.

"But in the long term, certainly until the end of the season, it might be a blessing for us."

Hughes was hoping to add to his squad before his sacking but the decision is unlikely to upset Stoke's transfer window plans.

A Stoke statement on Saturday read: "We would like to thank Mark for all he has achieved for the club over the last four-and-a-half years, notably in guiding us to three successive ninth-placed finishes in the Premier League, and we wish him every success for the future."

More in this Section

Catriona Matthew to captain Europe again in 2021 Solheim CupCatriona Matthew to captain Europe again in 2021 Solheim Cup

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media

Mullins plans another light campaign for Photo en route to CheltenhamMullins plans another light campaign for Photo en route to Cheltenham

Nathan Collins confident of U21 chances in ArmeniaNathan Collins confident of U21 chances in Armenia


I’d always promised myself a day off school when Gay Bryne died.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I’ve been thinking about my students, wondering who their ‘Gay Byrne’ will be

In an industry where women battle ageism and sexism, Meryl Streep has managed to decide her own destiny – and roles, writes Suzanne HarringtonJeepers Streepers: Hollywood royalty, all hail queen Meryl

'Ask Audrey' has been the newspaper's hysterical agony aunt “for ages, like”.Ask Audrey: Guten tag. Vot the f**k is the story with your cycle lanes?

Daphne Wright’s major new exhibition at the Crawford addresses such subjects as ageing and consumerism, writes Colette SheridanFinding inspiration in domestic situations

More From The Irish Examiner