Stoke City: Woeful Return to the Championship

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Stoke City observe a minutes silence for Gordon Banks prior to kick off during the Sky Bet Championship Match between Stoke City and Aston Villa at Bet365 Stadium on February 23, 2019 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Molly Darlington - AMA/Getty Images)

Stoke City’s first season back in the EFL Championship has been woeful. Any predictions of an immediate return could not have been more wrong. The Potters have endured a nightmare campaign, and are in need of a revival.

Potters Poor Campaign Leaves a lot to be Desired

Currently, 17th in the EFL Championship, Stoke City’s return to the second tier has been far from ideal. After last season’s relegation from the Premier League, on paper, the Potters would have been one of the teams tipped for success.

After a poor tenure under Gary Rowett, former Luton Town manager Nathan Jones is now in charge. Needless to say, his job will be to salvage some better results between now and the end of the season.

However, in the wider picture, Jones will have his work cut out for him in the long-run, as a lot of rebuilding will have to go back into the side over the next few months. A task which is seemingly a lot to ask of at this stage.

Terrible Results Under Gary Rowett Turned off Supporters

A season plagued by poor results and a managerial change have led the Lancashire side astray.

Gary Rowett was appointed manager of Stoke City last summer. But a poor start to the season, followed by eight wins in their opening 26 league games, ultimately left the club at the lower end of the table.

Supporters began to turn against the former Birmingham City boss, making their opinions known during matchdays. Then on January 8th, Rowett was sacked after just eight months in charge at the Bet365 Stadium.

Rowett’s spell as Potters manager will not be remembered fondly, as supporters openly criticised the style of football he attempted to play with the side. Furthermore, results were also poor and led the club into the bottom half of the league, where they have remained.

Nathan Jones in – but Is the Task Too Big for Him?

A day after the dismissal of Gary Rowett, Luton Town manager Nathan Jones was appointed as his replacement.

The 45-year-old departed high-flying Luton Town in League One, as he sought a challenge in the second tier. But the question: is the task at Stoke City too big for the former Hatters manager?

So far Jones has won just once in his nine games in charge of the club, and that was a 2-1 win over Leeds United. Since then he has drawn three games and lost five, with form still very fragile.

Understandably it remains to be early days for Jones as Potters boss. From now until the end of the season, his mission will be to reinforce some positive results and avoid any potential in being pulled into the relegation battle. Despite being nine points above the drop-zone, the possibility of a relegation scrap is still existent.

In the wider picture, Jones will have a lot of work to do in the following months. He will have to rebuild the side and essentially re-discover a suitable style of football. It will be interesting to see if Jones can re-establish Stoke City as genuine contenders at the top of the second-tier.

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