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Lambert leaves Stoke City by mutual consent


during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Stoke City at Liberty Stadium on May 13, 2018 in Swansea, Wales.

Dan Mullan

Stoke City is heading in a new direction when the squad reconvenes for League Championship preseason training.

Stoke announced that manager Paul Lambert has left the club by mutual consent, after he was unable to avoid relegation. Lambert joined the club in the middle of January on a two and a half year contract but won just two of his 15 games in charge.

“The Club would like to thank Paul for his work over the past four months and wish him well for the future,” Stoke City said in a statement. “Whilst he was unable to guide us to Premier League safety after being appointed in January, it certainly wasn’t due to a lack of effort, professionalism and dedication on his part.

“The Club will appoint a replacement as soon as possible in order to give the new manager time to prepare for the challenge of the 2018/19 season in the Championship.”

Stoke City is now looking for its third manager in a year, after Mark Hughes was sacked in January and Lambert has followed him out the door. The relegation ended a 10-year run in the Premier League for Stoke City, where the side earned a reputation for being hard as nails and a difficult team to beat, both at home and away.

But the club couldn’t find the back of the net regularly enough this season, scoring just 35 goals in 38 games, dooming the Potters to the Championship.