NEW BOSS: Lambert is expected to take charge following Stoke's league match against Manchester United later on Monday. Photo: Twitter

LONDON – Stoke City have appointed Paul Lambert as manager on a two and a half year contract, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The former Aston Villa and Norwich City coach replaced Mark Hughes, who was sacked this month with Stoke lying in the relegation zone and knocked out of the FA Cup by fourth tier Coventry City.

“Paul greatly impressed us with his knowledge of our squad and had a clear plan of how he would improve our results,” chairman Peter Coates said on the club's website.(www.stokecityfc.com)

“He's a man who backed himself as a player... and it's obvious he adopts the same approach as a manager.”

Caretaker manager Eddie Niedzwiecki will remain in charge of the team for Stoke's league match against Manchester United later on Monday.