Belfast Telegraph

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Stoke job 'would appeal' to O'Neill, says Chris Sutton

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill is the early bookies' favourite to succeed Mark Hughes as Stoke manager.

And ex-Celtic striker Chris Sutton reckons the 6/4 odds might be value for money. The Potters are understood to want a quick appointment, ideally before they travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United next Monday (January 15).

Sutton, who played for O'Neill at Celtic Park, reckons his former manager might be the perfect candidate to lead the 18th-placed side to safety.

“Martin O’Neill is the master motivator and that is exactly what Stoke need to rescue their season,” Sutton wrote in his Daily Mail column.

“After this limp defeat to Coventry, the Stoke players looked like they had hit an all-time low. It was clear they need to hear a different voice.

“Stoke need someone who will roll up his sleeves, get the team organised, make them hard to beat and breathe life into these players. Martin is an incredibly positive character and this job would appeal to him.

“I suspect he would like to get back into club management at the highest level and while Stoke may be a salvage mission, it is by no means impossible.”

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has also been linked with the job and is the 7/1 joint third favourite behind namesake Martin and Derby boss Gary Rowett.

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