Stoke City chairman Peter Coates can understand clubs supporting their managers this season.

Coates, whose manager, Tony Pulis, is the fourth longest serving in the Premier League, thinks many owners fear being ridiculed if they sack their managers.

He said: "Bolton put a lot of effort into getting Owen Coyle from Burnley, when he was hailed as the new Bill Shankly. Roberto Martinez chose to turn down Aston Villa in the summer to stay at Wigan and Blackburn's owners sacked Sam Allardyce to promote Steve Kean. Nobody wants egg on their faces."