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 City FC (@stokecity) February 10, 2018
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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