Stoke City sack manager Alex Neil

Alex Neil Credit: PA Images

Stoke City have sacked manager Alex Neil.

The 41-year-old has been in charge of the Potters since August last year.

He took over following a six-month spell with Sunderland during which time he guided the Wearside club to promotion to the Championship.

The club has issued a statement this afternoon regarding Mr Neil's departure.

Chairman John Coates said: “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.

“We are grateful for the building blocks he has helped put in place in bringing together a group of players in whom we have a huge amount of faith regarding their ability to turn things around this season, and who can help us achieve longer-term success.

“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.”

Technical Director Ricky Martin added: “The recruitment process is now underway and we will explore all avenues to secure the best person for the job.

“The role represents a fantastic opportunity and I anticipate that it will attract a number of high-calibre candidates.

“With Martin Canning having also left the club with our sincere thanks for his hard work as Alex’s Assistant, Paul Gallagher has been installed as caretaker manager ahead of the forthcoming home fixture against Swansea City.

“Paul will be assisted by Alex Morris, Ryan Shawcross and Jonathan Gould. We wish them all well for Tuesday evening’s game.”

Mr Neil also masterminded Norwich City’s rise to the Premier League in 2015 and secured promotion for Hamilton Academical in his first job.