On this day in 2018, Stoke sacked their boss, Mark Hughes, after their shock FA Cup exit against Coventry. Hughes, who had been in charge for four-and-a-half years, was sacked by a team then playing in Sky Bet League Two just hours after the 2-1 defeat.
The Potters had won just one of their previous eight games in all competitions and had fallen into the relegation zone of the Premier League on New Year’s Day after a 1-0 home loss to Newcastle. Immediately after Stoke’s FA Cup exit, Hughes said that for the rest of the season it could be “a blessing” but then the news of the club came. During the Potters’ FA Cup loss to Coventry on Jan. 6, 2018, Hughes expressed his frustration on the touchline (Nigel French/PA) A section of Potters fans had called for the owners of the club, the Coates family, to sack Hughes and held up banners at the Ricoh Arena during the cup match. Tony Pulis was replaced by Hughes, a former manager of Manchester City, Blackburn, Fulham and QPR, in May 2013, making him the fourth longest serving coach in League One. Before finishing last season in 13th place, the Welshman had led the Potters to three straight ninth-place finishes. On January 16, former Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert was confirmed as Hughes’ replacement, but at the end of the season, Stoke’s 10-year stay in the Premier League ended in relegation. Two months later, replacing Mauricio Pellegrino, Hughes, the seventh Premier League manager to lose his job during the 2017/18 season, was appointed Southampton manager.