A 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday leaves them deep in the mire of a relegation battle
Project Stokealona has gone to pot.
Chairman Peter Coates should have got the hint when the players did a half-hearted lap of honour in front of thousands of empty seats following the final home game last season.
It was stick or twist with manager Mark Hughes – sack him or back him.
The decision was to stick with Sparky, despite the bright red flashing warning lights that appeared throughout the entirety of last season.
11 wins all campaign, including five against teams that plummeted to the Championship.
The other three points came against Burnley, Swansea, Watford, Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough and a dead rubber last game of the season at Southampton.
Stoke conceded four goals on seven occasions last season.
Once a side that used to terrify the ‘big six’ at their own ground quickly became the whipping boys.
A hugely underwhelming season, topped with third round defeats in both…