Stoke City wasted no time in appointing Gary Rowett’s successor as it was announced that Luton Town boss, Nathan Jones would take charge of the struggling Potters.
Some may consider Jones’ appointment as risky business by the former Premier League side, but it could be a gamble that could easily pay off, given the success Jones has had with his former side, Luton.
Kevin Phillips was part of Gary Rowett’s coaching staff, and was also dismissed from his role when Rowett was sacked, as Jones brought in his own staff.
Phillips admitted in a recent interview with talkSPORT, that he is hopeful Stoke can push on up the table now with Jones in charge.
“It did take a while for the lads to adjust but now in the second part of the season, it’s a shame we’re not there, but Nathan will have a team that knows what the league is about, they’re fit and hopefully they might put a little run together.”
The former Stoke coach also set the bar high for the newly appointed boss, and is confident the Potters can finish the season in a strong position.
“There are some good sides at the top of the Championship so let’s hope Stoke can climb into the top six and finish the season really strong.”
Phillips also revealed that the majority of the Stoke squad struggled to adjust to life in the Championship, and were surprised by the quality of some teams in the division.
“They were a bit surprised by some of the quality of the teams. Leeds completely outplayed us, Norwich away, although we won on the day, they absolutely battered us and played some great football.”
Jones will be hoping to get off to the perfect start as Stoke manager when his side travel to Griffin Park to take on Brentford in what will be a tricky fixture for the Potters who will be after a much-needed win.
I think the play-offs are an achievable target for Stoke this season.
Although they are already eight points adrift of the top six, you can’t write them off with Jones now in charge of the Potters.
If he can take Luton into the automatic promotion places on a limited budget, then he can certainly take Stoke into the top six, with the quality they have in their side this season.