The Potters announced on Sunday evening that head coach Alex Neil was relived of his duties following a run of four-straight defeats in the Championship which has left Stoke just above the relegation zone by a mere point.
Three of the team’s last four defeats have been against sides competing to stay in England’s second-tier, including Plymouth Argyle, Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday. Nevertheless, it was the defeat at home to Wednesday on Saturday which was the final nail in Neil’s coffin.
The result left Stoke City just two points above the relegation zone, with games against Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion and Millwall still to come.
QPR, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town have all changed managers over the past few months and now the Potters decided to pull the trigger before things got worse on the pitch.
In the meantime, ex-Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End star Paul Gallagher has been placed in charge while the board scramble to find a new manager to lead the team forward.
According to Football Insider, Stoke City have opened talks with Dean Smith who last managed Leicester City and guided the Foxes to relegation from the Premier League in the previous campaign, although the side looked doomed prior to his appointment.
Smith had a solid record in the Championship and helped Aston Villa back to the top-flight before consolidating their status twice, while his last job in the second tier was with Norwich City before he was sacked for David Wagner.
The outlet are claiming that Smith is open to becoming the next manager at the Bet365 Stadium.
This would be a really good appointment by Stoke. Smith is a manager with a lot of Championship experience, who has a history of not only promotion to the Premier League but of building a squad overtime that is capable of doing so.
Right now, Stoke City will want to consolidate in the league by avoiding relegation and potentially kick on and finish in the top half next term, which will likely by Smith’s requirement.