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Who Could Take Over from Nathan Jones at Stoke?

Eight games into the 2019-20 Championship campaign and Nathan Jones’s team are still looking for their first win. Having suffered six league defeats, along with also crashing out of the Carabao Cup following a penalty shoot-out loss to League Two side Crawley Town, things aren’t appearing to get any better. Moreover, Stoke have also conceded the joint-most amount of goals thus far this season, and are currently five points off Luton Town in 21st place.

Due to that fact, we’re going to consider some of the managers that could come in and turn things around for the former Premier League outfit, with the pressure rising on Jones to deliver.

Chris Hughton

"Chris Hughton" (CC BY 2.0) by blenky64

A name familiar to most in the footballing world is Chris Hughton, and while he may be hungry for a Premier League job on his return to the game, his credentials and know-how would make him an ideal candidate if the Stoke job were to become available. Throughout his career, the 60-year old manager has had incredible success at getting teams out of the Championship after masterminding returns to the top-flight for Newcastle in 2010 and Brighton in 2017.

After eventually being sacked from his position at the Seagulls following a 17th-place finish, Hughton has yet to get back into management. With the resources available at Stoke, and with the patience of the fans, the Essex-born manager would certainly be able to improve the struggling side’s fortunes.

Nigel Adkins

After leaving Hull in June of this year after failing to agree terms on a contract extension, Nigel Adkins presents an intriguing possibility if Stoke were to make a managerial change. Much like Hughton, the 55-year-old manager has a history of securing promotions after guiding Scunthorpe to the Championship in 2007, and, perhaps more impressively, Southampton to the Premier League in 2012.

Since his departure from Hull, Adkins has been linked to several jobs including the Huddersfield vacancy following their decision to part ways with Jan Siewert. However, for one reason or another, the Terriers opted for former Lincoln City boss, Danny Cowley. Although Adkins may not be the star-studded name that Stoke fans are longing for, he would certainly offer them stability, which has been sorely lacking ever since their relegation from the Premier League.

Tony Pulis

"Tony Pulis directs his troops" (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

At present, Stoke are 11/2 with Championship betting to be relegated from the Championship come the end of the season. As already touched upon, they’re conceding a dangerous amount of goals and tightening up their defence will be crucial in them maintaining their status in the second division of English football.

While many Stoke fans were pleased with the club’s decision to part ways with Tony Pulis back in 2013, a third stint at the club for the 61-year-old could be perfect for each of the parties involved. With Pulis seeking a return to management and with Stoke fighting to beat the drop, the Welshman would bring solidarity back to Stoke, while also making them competitive for the remainder of the season. 

Options are Available

While it may be too early to write Nathan Jones off, the current market has several experienced managers seeking a return to the dugout. From Premier League-proven Chris Hughton to the ever-stable Nigel Adkins and Tony Pulis, there are plenty of available options if Stoke were to make a change in the near future.