Former Stoke City manager Mark Hughes understands why Stoke City went in a different direction this season as the club steered towards relegation, but is also a bit peeved how the fanbase turned on him so quickly.
Hughes, who guided Stoke City to its best-ever Premier League finish three times in a row finishing ninth in the table in 2014, 2015, and 2016, claims that while things ultimately came to an ugly end, those involved with the club shouldn’t have cut him loose with such vengeance.
“It was a difficult season,” said Hughes, now managing Southampton. “I’m a little bit disappointed maybe that the success we had in my four and a half years, it seems to me that part of their history certain people want to airbrush the success we had.”
Hughes was fired with the club in 16th position and one win in its past nine matches. Stoke City executives said they believed in retrospect they had been “too loyal” to Hughes, leading them to keep him longer than was healthy for the club. They also said the club had made “significant errors” in the transfer market which left the squad porous and thin. Even goalkeeper Jack Butland came out to say the club recruitment was “farcical.”
“It’s there for everyone to see I was their most successful Premier League manager. It didn’t end like I wanted it to, nobody wanted that, but every one of my staff and myself put our heart and soul into that job. I’m really sorry that unfortunately they’ve gone out of the league but it can happen to anybody if you take your eye off the ball.”