Stoke’s board are refusing to panic despite sitting just above the relegation zone, while manager Mark Hughes insists the club is not in “crisis”.
However, it is understood that the next four games could be crucial to manager Mark Hughes’ future at the club.
It promises to prove a pivotal sequence for Hughes, who can at least take solace in the fact that Peter Coates remains the most sensible chairman in the Premier League. Coates has only employed two managers since returning to the club in 2006.
The problems are piling up for Hughes, however, who has many players badly out of form and a team that cannot stop leaking soft goals.
“It’s not a crisis in my view. We are in a situation in terms of league position, but we do have good games coming up. We’ll be fine,” said Hughes.
“We are very rarely are in the bottom three when the season finishes and we always judge our season on what happens at the end of 38 games rather than eight or nine games.
“The fans have a management team that has been in these situations before and been successful so I don’t think they need to worry. It’s about letting good people get on with their jobs and coming through these periods.”
Glen Johnson was targeted by supporters for a lacklustre showing and boos greeted the final whistle even though Stoke’s performance had gone up several notches, Mame Biram Diouf had scored and the home side should have had a penalty.
‘Our crowd at times vent their frustrations. There were a couple of moments when Glen maybe didn’t pick the right option but it wasn’t for any lack of endeavour,’ Hughes added.