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Alarm bells ringing for Stoke boss; Bournemouth 4 Stoke City 0.

STOKE slumped to their biggest defeat of the season to leave manager Brian Little searching for answers to an alarming loss of form.

Stoke completed a miserable week after losing to promotion rivals Manchester City and being dumped out of the Auto Windscreens Shields by Rochdale by being over-run by Bournemouth.

Stoke were in trouble from the moment Bournemouth's Steve Fletcher struck on 21 minutes.

A generous Stoke defence gifted a second when Larus Sigurdsson and keeper Carl Muggleton got in a tangle to leave Fletcher with a tap-in.

Stoke had Graham Kavanagh sent off in the 44th minute with Bournemouth's John O'Neill.

Bournemouth added a third in the 71st minute when Steve Robinson headed in a centre from Neil Young.

Stoke were a beaten side when James Hayter blasted in a fourth from the edge of the area.

Disappointed Little said, "We have gone downhill very fast and lost a lot of confidence in a short time."
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Feb 7, 1999
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