Stoke chairman backs Hughes to deliver despite poor start

Mark Hughes, the bookmakers' favourite to be the first managerial casualty of the new Premier League season, has received the backing of Stoke City chairman Peter Coates despite the club's miserable start to the campaign.

The former Wales striker led Stoke to a second consecutive ninth-place finish last season but they have have struggled to find any momentum in the new campaign and are bottom of the league with four defeats and a draw from five matches.

"We are obviously disappointed with the start we've made but Mark and the management team have our full support," Coates told Telegraph Sport.

"He is a very experienced manager and knows what it takes to get results in the Premier League.

"It's still very early in the season and while these results obviously can't go on forever, we're convinced that things will change."

Hughes was fined 8,000 pounds ($10,443.20) by the Football Association (FA) on Monday after he accepted a misconduct charge in relation to an incident during their 4-0 loss against Tottenham Hotspur on Sept 10.

Stoke host Hull City in the third round of the League Cup on Wednesday.