It has been a very frustrating season at Stoke City with the club unable to capitalise on a very strong start to the campaign.
Michael O’Neill’s men were involved in the early automatic promotion conversation before falling away dramatically amid an injury crisis towards the back end of 2021.
The 52-year-old took over the club in something of a relegation battle in 2019/20, signing a deal until the summer of 2023, and in his first two full seasons as manager, the Potters have flirted with the play-offs early on before the season has fizzled out in an underwhelming manner.
There is opposition to his place in the dugout with the club having spent a lot in the transfer market and heading towards the fifth season since their relegation to the Championship.
However, it feels like O’Neill will carry on in the job going into next season and he has been vocal about the club’s transfer plans and limitations as we edge closer to the summer window.
The Northern Irishman summarised the Potters’ approach to the upcoming window when he spoke to StokeonTrentLive.
He said: “We’re not really in a position to go and buy players unless we generate money by selling players and we’re putting a much more uniform squad, financially, together and younger players are a massive part of that.”
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With a reduction in spending ensuring the club operate more sustainably, O’Neill’s position may well come into that, giving him the benefit of the doubt to carry on next term, rather than sacking him when Stoke could change manager at the end of next season without needing to pay him off.