Sunday, August 19, 2018

Lambert in no mood to play the blame game with Adam and Jese

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Feb 2018

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Paul Lambert refused to play the blame game with Charlie Adam or Jese Rodriguez after Stoke City missed a late penalty in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion.

There was a dramatic ending at the bet365 Stadium when Dale Stephens was judged to have pushed Jese in the area, and the on-loan Paris Saint-Germain forward had to be led away after Adam refused to let him take the resulting spot-kick.

Adam then saw his effort brilliantly saved by Mat Ryan, and was denied on the follow-up by a stunning Lewis Dunk challenge, while Mame Biram Diouf saw a header cleared off the line shortly after in a frantic ending.

Stoke, who had cancelled out Jose Izquierdo’s opener with Xherdan Shaqiri’s well-placed second-half leveller, consequently stay in the bottom three, but Potters boss Lambert was in no mood to point the finger.

“Charlie had scored [a penalty] at Coventry [in the FA Cup] and if he felt confident then a confident person hits it,” he said.

“I never saw that [Jese’s reaction]. I would be more concerned if everybody shied away from it. That’s when problems arise.

“Who’s to say Jese would score. Nobody knows. Charlie felt confident enough to hit it, but I never blame anybody. It’s not blame culture.

“He [Adam] felt good because he scored the last one. You could be the most talented footballer on earth, but if you don’t want that penalty you won’t hit it.”

Stoke had been largely second best until Shaqiri’s opener, and Brighton had chances aside from the opener from Izquierdo, who completed a brilliant team move.

The winger had already been denied by Jack Butland, and Davy Propper was wasteful with a second-half header, leaving boss Chris Hughton to rue missed chances.

“I thought we had the better chances up against a Stoke side who’ve been really good in their last couple of games pressing and getting the ball forward quicker,” he said.

“I know they’ve missed a penalty, but in general play we had the better chances.”

On the penalty decision, he added: “My impression at the time was it was soft and my view hasn’t changed.

“If anything, Dale is pushing him off, but not in an aggressive way. It was soft.”

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