By Gabriel Ameh, The Sight News
Stoke City has appointed Paul Lambert as the club’s new manager. The former Wolverhampton and Blackburn head coach has replaced Mark Hughes, who was sacked after Stoke’s defeat in the third round of the FA Cup against Coventry. Lambert has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Stoke are in 18th position in the Premier League, one point below the safety zone but only five points behind West Ham in 11th. They are due to travel to Old Trafford on Monday night to face Manchester United but Lambert will not take charge at the club until Tuesday. Eddie Niedzwiecki will be in charge of team affairs, assisted by Kevin Russell and Andy Quy.
Derby’s Gary Rowett, Espanyol’s Quique Sánchez Flores and the Republic of Ireland manager, Martin O’Neill, were all targets but Rowett signed a new contract last week and over the weekend the other two men ruled themselves out of contention.
Lambert, who has previously also managed Aston Villa and Norwich, emerged as the preferred candidate and the club have acted swiftly to appoint him.
The news was announced on the club website, in a statement in which the chairman, Peter Coates, said: “Paul greatly impressed us with his knowledge of our squad and had a clear plan of how he would improve our results.
“He’s a man who backed himself as a player, none more so than when he turned down contract offers in Scotland to go on trial in the German Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, and it’s obvious he adopts the same approach as a manager”.
The vice-chairman, John Coates, said: “We were determined to appoint someone with Premier League experience or an extensive knowledge of English football.
“Paul has been successful in management at clubs with a strong and stable background and with local ownership – the kind of foundation we are able to give to our managers. We look forward to working with Paul and supporting him to help achieve our goals.”