March 2, 2018 / 10:37 AM / 16 days ago

Soccer: Confident Lambert expects better results to come for Stoke

(Reuters) - Stoke City manager Paul Lambert has no fears over his team’s predicament in their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League, with the Scot saying he has confidence in his squad’s ability to get results.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Leicester City vs Stoke City - King Power Stadium, Leicester, Britain - February 24, 2018 Stoke City manager Paul Lambert applauds the fans after the match REUTERS/Darren Staples

The 19th-placed club have improved their form recently, recording three draws and a win in their last five games to move within a point of safety, coming close to beating Leicester City last weekend before settling for a 1-1 draw.

Lambert lamented the individual errors that denied Stoke victories in their last two matches against Brighton and the Foxes but the 48-year-old is pleased with his team’s overall form.

“I don’t have any trepidation, any fear going into games. I think we are going to go in and win,” Lambert told reporters on Thursday. “I think the way the lads are playing shows that they are more than capable...

“Our form is really good. I can’t fault the lads. We are playing ever so well. The last two games we have had individual errors. We should have picked up six points but that happens.

“I don’t have a problem with the way we are playing. We are playing really well at the minute. The results haven’t given us what I think our performances have merited.”

Stoke have scored just 28 league goals this campaign with winger Xherdan Shaqiri their leading scorer, while striker Saido Berahino has failed to find the net in more than two seasons.

Lambert says that the 24-year-old, who was left out of the squad for the Leicester game, had to improve his fitness levels before he could be considered for selection.

“He needs more fitness to his game to play the way I want him to play. I don’t think he’s up to the levels he should be,” Lambert added.

“I have told him that, so he knows the situation and what I’m explaining. He’s been really good with me working away at it. Once he does that, he will be fine. But it has to come from him as well.

“In the situation we’re in we need everybody to put their shoulder to the wheel and be able to get around.”

Stoke travel to 16th-placed Southampton on Saturday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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