Stoke boss Hughes denies he is close to being sacked

Mark Hughes: Witnessed Stoke throw win away

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has hit back at the suggestion he is on the brink of being sacked.

The Potters are 17th in the Premier League, a point above the relegation zone, having lost five of their last six games.

And it has been reported Hughes faces the sack if they lose Saturday’s home clash with West Brom.

Asked about that on Friday, he said: “I don’t think that is where we are at to be perfectly honest.

“The media will set time lines and time tables on it, but that is not what is happening within the corridors here in my view.

“We are not where we expected to be – that’s fair to say, and I think we all acknowledge that. But I would be more concerned if I felt the side didn’t have the capability of getting points on the board from this point on.

“We are a decent group. I think a lot of the comments come from people who haven’t even bothered to actually watch any of our games – they are just picking up on hearsay and things they’ve heard, and elaborate and embellish things in terms of their understanding of what is going on.”

Chants of ”Hughes out” and ”sacked in the morning” were heard from home supporters at last weekend’s 3-0 loss to West Ham at the bet365 Stadium.

While chairman Peter Coates has appeared supportive of Hughes with recent comments, he was quoted by The Sentinel this week as saying of the match against West Brom, who are two points worse off than Stoke in 19th: “It’s a huge game, there’s no getting away from that. It is one we need to win.”

Regarding the club’s hierarchy, Hughes said on Friday: “The owners have been in the game a long time and understand it’s not an easy role in terms of the managerial position, and that football isn’t a straight line.

“There’s peaks and troughs, ups and downs, and you have to work your way through them. What you have to do is support good people, people you have faith in, and that’s what they have always done here.

“I know this group better than anybody. I’ve been here four-and-a-half seasons. And the owners and everybody connected with the club are fully informed.

“They come to the game themselves. They are here every week. They are not in some far off land just watching on TV. They are in and around the club every single day.

“So they sense if there is a change in attitude from the players, or myself or whatever. They are close to the coal face and they would sense if something needed to change. It doesn’t.

“We have good people here with the ability to win games in the Premier League, which I have proven for 12, 13 years. They allow good people to get on with their jobs. That is what they are doing at the moment.”