Experienced head Hughton emerges as Stoke’s ideal man
Stoke City are reported to be looking to experienced former Brighton, Norwich and Newcastle manager Chris Hughton to take over once Nathan Jones is sacked.
The Mirror name Hughton, 60, as the man the Potters’ hierarchy want to steer the club away from the Championship relegation zone and potentially back to where they want to be – challenging for promotion.
Sadly for incumbent manager Jones, time appears to have run out for the ex-Luton Town manager.
The Welshman has posted a record of only three wins from his 29 games in charge since he replaced Gary Rowett at the bet365 stadium midway through last term.
Saturday’s home defeat to Bristol City left Stoke bottom of the Championship, with just one point from their opening six matches, and senior figures at the club are believed to be contemplating another managerial change.
Hughton’s CV stands up to scrutiny, with two Championship promotions from his time at Newcastle and Brighton.
He was controversially sacked after taking the Magpies back up at the first attempt and led the Seagulls to the Premier League for the first time in their history – before keeping them there, twice.
His one full season in charge of Birmingham City was not without success, either, as he guided the Blues to fourth place in the Championship and the play-offs.
Out of work since Brighton showed him the door in May, apparently paying the price for a lack of attacking quality, he could be waiting for another crack at the Premier League – having nothing left to prove at Championship level.
But jobs for Englishmen are notoriously hard to come by in the top flight, with most boardrooms under foreign rule and outward-looking when it comes to appointments.
Although clearly struggling at the moment, Stoke remain an attractive proposition to managers because of their stable boardroom and relative wealth in a division where most clubs are saddled with debt.
It could look like a step down to some, but an opportunity to others – although at Hughton’s age would he be willing to go through perhaps two seasons of toil before the Potters are in a position to be promoted?
Simon Barlow has a wealth of journalism experience and in-depth knowledge in a number of sports. As well as his extensive football knowledge, Simon is also well versed on cricket, tennis, American Football and cycling amongst others.