LISTEN: Stoke City chairman Peter Coates defends under-fire Mark Hughes and slams ‘ridiculous’ sack rumours
Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has told talkSPORT the club will stick by Mark Hughes despite their shocking start to the new Premier League season, calling rumours the manager is close to the sack “ridiculous”.
The Potters currently sit rock-bottom of the Premier League table with just one point from their opening five games.
Sunday’s miserable 4-1 loss at Crystal Palace made it four defeats in a row for Stoke, and the Welshman is now many bookmakers’ favourite to be the first managerial casualty of the campaign.
But Potters chief Coates insists Hughes is trusted to lift the club out of thier ‘bad patch’ and rediscover their winning form again.
Speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT, Coates said: “It is a disappointing start, but it is a bit ridiculous that we’re having a conversation about a manager’s future after five games.
“Yes, it’s the nature of the game, but that doesn’t make it sensible, does it?
“Obviously it’s true that bad results cannot go on forever, but we’re only five games into the season.
“There is an issue which he and his coaches and the players have got to address. Of course Mark recognises that, he doesn’t need me to tell him – he’s an experienced manager.
“Clearly it needs sorting out and I expect that to happen. He’ll be working hard and the players need to work hard… but we have a good enough squad to get results in the Premier League.”
Stoke have won only five Premier League games since January and Hughes now faces mutiny from his own fans after the team’s dreadful start.
Having insisted he will stick by his manager, Coates was then asked in the supporters would have the same patience and understanding…
“I think so,” he replied. We have a good supporter base.
“Supporters know their football and we always respect their views, and many of them are hugely sensible and realise that clubs go through bad patches.
“It’s about getting out of them, getting that confidence back to start winning games again. They know that.
“I fully expect the supporters to get behind the team, as they always do.”