Stoke City are taking into consideration the future of manager Mark Hughes after a discouraging first half of the season. The board of directors have not met to formally discuss Hughes' position, but are weighing their options after Monday's defeat by Newcastle. Hughes is preparing the team for Saturday's trip to Coventry City in the FA Cup.


Mark Hughes is expected to conduct the pre-match news conference on Thursday, and take charge of the game. His position is under review with Stoke two places above the Premier League relegation zone having lost seven of their past 10 Premier League games. He was asked after the game against Newcastle if his four-and-a-half-year reign at Stoke was under threat, he said, "Who else is going to do it?" The coach also said "In terms of the knowledge of the group and the progress in my time here, I'm the best person to do it."


Stoke City have taken 20 points from their opening 22 league games this season, their worst haul at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1984-85, when they had just 11 points. Monday's defeat came after Hughes rested a number of key players for Saturday's 5-0 thrashing by Chelsea, something he said was "necessary" before the game against Newcastle. Stoke have conceded five goals or more in three Premier League games this season and have let in a total of 47 goals, the most in the division. Their next league match is at Old Trafford to play second-placed Manchester United on 15 January.

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