Stoke City's board will not be rushed into making drastic changes, despite the club sitting just above the relegation zone.

The Potters fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Bournemouth on Saturday (21 October), a result which left them just a point above the bottom three after a run of four defeats in their last five Premier League matches.

Manager Mark Hughes has dismissed rumours of a crisis, suggesting the club's record shows Stoke are not prone to being involved in relegation battles.

"We are in a situation in terms of league position, but we do have good games coming up," the Welshman was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

"We'll be fine. We are very rarely in the bottom three when the season finishes and we always judge our season on what happens at the end of 38 games rather than eight or nine games.

"The fans have a management team that has been in these situations before and been successful so I don't think they need to worry. It's about letting good people get on with their jobs and coming through these periods."

While Hughes' claim is true - Stoke have not finished lower than 14th since making their Premier League debut in 2008-09 - his side have the worst defence in the league, having conceded 20 goals in nine games so far.

The figure, admittedly, is skewed by the 7-2 thrashing Stoke suffered against Manchester City last week, but their defeat against Bournemouth came against a side that had lost in each of their four league games away from home so far this season.

While Stoke's chairman Peter Coates is notoriously reluctant to pull the trigger on managers - Hughes is only the second he has employed since 2006 - the Welshman faces a potentially future-defining run of games over the next four weeks.

The Potters face trips to Watford, Brighton and Hove Albion and Crystal Palace over the next month, with Leicester City the only side to visit the bet365 Stadium between now and 29 November, when Liverpool travel to Staffordshire.

If Stoke's back four is a source of major concern for Hughes, the former Blackburn Rovers manager can at least take some solace from his side's attacking form. The Potters have the second-best attack of teams in the bottom half of the league and have failed to score just twice in the Premier League so far this season.

Mark Hughes
Hughes has the backing of the Stoke board despite some growing frustrated with him last season. Getty