Despite edging their way past high-flying Leeds United in the League Cup last night, Stoke City have endured a thoroughly miserable start to the season and they sit firmly at the foot of the Championship table having collected just a single point from their opening five league matches. Former Luton Town manager Nathan Jones has struggled since swapping Kenilworth Road for the Bet365 Stadium and he will doubtless be feeling the pressure right now, despite the fact that the bookies consider Stoke City’s chances of avoiding relegation to be pretty high with most firms going 1/6 that they remain in the Championship at the end of the campaign.
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The Potters have suffered defeats against QPR, Charlton Athletic, Preston North End and Leeds United with a 2-2 draw coming at home to Derby County. The board certainly won’t have been overjoyed as this dismal start and Jones will doubtless be nervously looking over his shoulder, hopeful that he can somehow manage a swift turnaround at this early stage of proceedings.
Nevertheless several Championship sides have been showing interest in former Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton and of these, Stoke City are perhaps most in need of his services. Hughton earned an excellent reputation for himself while at the Amex Stadium and punters have been quick to back him as next Stoke City manager, a reported 32% of all bets being aimed towards him in this market. Elsewhere, Tony Pulis has also emerged as a leading contender to be next in the Potters’ hot-seat at odds of 17/2 with Paddy Power Bookmakers while David Moyes, Martin O’Neill, Carlos Carvalhal and Sam Allardyce are 20/1 shots ahead of Nigel Pearson at 25/1.