New Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is just 3/1 to not last the season after he was unveiled at the Britannia on a three year-contract.
The former Manchester City, Fulham, Blackburn and Wales boss replaces Tony Pulis, whose second stint in charge of the Potters was ended two weeks ago by chairman Peter Coates after six and a half years, during which Stoke were established as Premier League regulars.
Hughes has been out of work since a disastrous spell in charge of Queens Park Rangers, where he was sacked in November having failed to win in 12 league games despite spending heavily in the two previous transfer windows.
So after a series of poor buys and dreadful performances at Loftus Road, Hughes, who was also widely regarded to have underachieved when in charge of Man City, has a managerial reputation to rebuild.
To make matters more difficult, this is to be achieved while making Stoke a more offensive, easier on the eye outfit than they have been in five top flight years under Pulis.
Yet despite the misgivings of the fans, some of whom have already protested at the appointment, Hughes launched a staunch defence of his record at his unveiling.
“I’m absolutely delighted to get the opportunity,” Hughes said. “The Coates family have given me this opportunity and I’m really grateful. I’m pleased they have done their due diligence and looked beyond my last position and taken my career as a manager as a whole. I have the opportunity to work with good people.
“QPR was difficult and mistakes were made. I made mistakes which I learned from but I felt I was given the task of keeping them in the Premier League which I managed to do. I had 18 games to do that and 12 games later I lost my job. It was a difficult situation with a lot of chances and if we are honest with ourselves we tried to run before we could walk.
“From my point of view it’s all about the here and now and moving Stoke forward.”
Hughes admitted he would “like to make then a little bit more offensive” and it is “my philosophy is to play football, play good football, make chances and make it entertaining for the fans who pay good money to come and see us.” But is he the man for the job?
bwin go 1/5 that Hughes is still Stoke manager on 1st August 2014, but punters could be more tempted by the 3/1 that he fails to last that long: he will certainly need to improve on a record of just six wins from 30 league games at QPR if he is to make his stay at the Potters a long one.
Stoke are 3/1 to be relegated next term and 150/1 to finish in the top four, while Hughes is 50/1 to go one better than Pulis and win the FA Cup in 2013/14 – the Potters were runners-up to Manchester City in 2011.