Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill becomes Championship’s first managerial casualty

Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill has become the Championship’s first managerial casualty of the season.

The 53-year-old has been axed after a poor start to the season, taking just four points from their opening five games.

Stoke’s only win came against Blackpool during their first home game of the campaign.

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Stoke City can confirm that manager Michael O’Neill has left the club,” the Potters said in a statement.

Michael O'Neill has been axed just five league games into the new seasonMichael O'Neill has been axed just five league games into the new season
Michael O'Neill has been axed just five league games into the new season

“Assistant manager Dean Holden will take interim charge of the first-team.

“The club has begun the process of appointing a new manager and will be making no further comment at this time.”

O’Neill helped Stoke avoid relegation when he first arrived at the club in 2019 to replace Nathan Jones.

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The Potters were bottom of the Championship at the time of his arrival, having won only two of their opening 15 games, before O’Neill guided them to a 15th placed finish during the Covid-disrupted 2019/20 season.

Stoke have since finished in 14th in back-to-back seasons during O’Neill’s two full campaigns with the club.

Joint chairman John Coates said: “Michael joined us in November 2019 when the club was in a difficult situation and the job he did in stabilising our position in the Championship should not be underestimated.

“Michael has worked tirelessly and with extreme professionalism, in particular in reshaping our squad and developing young players, but we feel the time is right to move in a different direction. I would like to thank him for his efforts and wish him every success for the future.”