Stoke City relieved Alex Neil after the club lost its fourth match in a row in the Championship. With the most recent loss to Sheffield Wednesday, the Potters fell to 20th in the league table. Stoke only sits above the relegation zone by two points. Millwall and Huddersfield Town are on the same point total above the drop zone.

Neil took over at bet365 Stadium early into the 2022/23 campaign. He replaced Michael O’Neill in late August after Stoke picked up four points in its first five games. However, Neil only led Stoke to 16th in the Championship table in the previous campaign. With little improvement displayed in that season into the current one, Stoke decided to move on from the Scottish boss.

This season, Stoke has been streaky at times. Neil was immediately under the microscope to start the season after Stoke had seven losses in its first 11 games. However, Neil looked like he was turning around the fortunes for Stoke when the Potters mustered 11 points out of a possible 15 after the poor start. Of course, Stoke City ownership saw the four-game losing skid as the last straw for Neil, and the club relieved him on Sunday.

“Alex is a man of absolute integrity who has given his all for Stoke City, and we would like to thank him for his hard work during his time with the club,” Stoke City chairman John Coates said on the club’s website. “However, with the way the results have been so far, we have made the difficult decision to seek a new direction for the team at this time. Nothing matters to me more than the success of our club and we are now working towards the appointment of Alex’s successor.”

Four losses in a row ended Alex Neil’s stint as the Stoke City manager.
Four losses in a row ended Alex Neil’s stint as the Stoke City manager.

Four losses in a row ended Alex Neil’s stint as the Stoke City manager.

Stoke City sacking Alex Neil is eighth dismissal in Championship this season

With the calamity of the Championship, Alex Neil’s dismissal had been coming. It adds to the rampant trend of clubs sacking their managers in the current Championship season. In total, Stoke City is the eighth club to sack its manager. A couple of the other notable manager firings include Nigel Pearson at Bristol City and John Eustace at Birmingham City. The latter had Birmingham in the playoff zone when it jumped to Wayne Rooney.

Three of those sackings came when the club was in the relegation zone. Stoke is just on the outside of that, but the threat of relegation is real at The Britannia. Still, sacking a club’s manager does not instantly fix all its problems. Rotherham, Queen’s Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday all sacked their managers this season. Each of those clubs remains in the relegation zone after 20 games in the Championship.

Important games coming up

Stoke City named Paul Gallagher, one of Neil’s assistants, as caretaker manager for now. Stoke is already searching for a permanent managerial replacement. Yet, Gallagher will be in charge of crucial games over the next weeks if he holds that post. December is a notoriously busy time for the Championship. Stoke has five games in the Championship over the next 20 days. That includes contests against Millwall, Swansea and Birmingham City. However, it will also face teams vying for promotion, such as Ipswich Town and West Bromwich Albion by January 1.