Premier League: Paul Lambert appointed Stoke City manager

Former Norwich and Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has been appointed as Stoke City manager following the sacking of Mark Hughes last week. The 48-year-old manager signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Potters and his immediate goal is to save the club from relegation this season. Stoke are currently 18th in the league table, one point away from safety, and are also out of all cup competitions. Mark Hughes got sacked after Stoke lost to League Two side Coventry City in the FA Cup.

Paul Lambert's first match in charge at the Bet365 Stadium will be Saturday's home game against fellow relegation candidates Huddersfield. Lambert has not been involved in management since leaving Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of last season. He has previously managed Colchester, Wycombe Wanderers and Blackburn, along with Norwich and Aston Villa in the Premier League. As a player he won the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund back in 1997.

However, Paul Lambert isn't exactly the manager Stoke City wanted to appoint. First they wanted to sign Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill but the offer was turned down, then second-choice Gary Rowett signed a new contract at Derby County and then former Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores rejected the offer and decided to remain in charge of La Liga side Espanyol. About Paul Lambert, Stoke chairman Peter Coates said: "Paul greatly impressed us with his knowledge of our squad and had a clear plan of how he would improve our results."

Stoke City are 1/2 at Bet365 to avoid relegation from the Premier League this season.

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