Stoke City sack manager Michael O’Neill after poor start to Championship season | Football news
Stoke City have sacked manager Michael O’Neill after a poor start to the Championship season.
Stoke have won just one of their first five Championship games, leaving them outside the bottom three after aiming for promotion ahead of the season.
They were beaten 1-0 at home to Sunderland on Saturday and earlier this month they were knocked out of the first round of the Carabao Cup by League One Morecambe on penalties.
After the most recent defeat to Sunderland, O’Neill – who joined the club in November 2019 when they finished last in the Championship after being coach of Northern Ireland – has called for the “perspective” around. around the start of Stoke’s campaign.
“We’re five games into the season, there’s a lot of football to play and I think it’s about keeping it in perspective and that’s what we’re going to try to do,” he said. “It’s a fairly new squad of players and we’ve lost five or six players to injury who will have to be in our starting 11 squad, so we’re not really in the team. where at this time.
“I think we’ve got a really good team in our dressing room, but it’s easy for me because we haven’t shown it yet.”
Stoke finished 14th in O’Neill’s two full seasons after he led them out of the relegation zone and into 15th in 2019/20.
Analysis: Pressure to get promoted after O’Neill . cost overhaul
Sky Sports’ Paul Gilmour:
“Stoke had a number of problems when O’Neill took over in November 2019, including rising wages and the result that senior players lacked motivation and refused to continue because of their contract situation.
“O’Neill, with a degree in sporting director and full experience in running football during his tenure as Northern Ireland boss, has made a significant contribution to the rebuilding.
“Over time he has helped stabilize the club by helping to reduce the wage bill from £40m to £20m, he has restructured the health and sports science departments and brought in more young players.
“Many of them have become Stoke properties – Nathan Collins joined Burnley for £12m.
“The next step is to bring Stoke back into the Premier League and there have been gradual improvements in the season since they started.
“However, a poor result at the start of the current season led to fan pressure and in the end, the club made a decision.”