Paul Lambert has expressed his frustration at failing to find a first win in eight attempts after Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Everton.
The hosts thought that they had rescued a valuable point through Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting after Cenk Tosun had broken the deadlock, but the Toffees striker notched a late winner to condemn the Potters to another loss.
That loss was compounded by Charlie Adam's straight red card on 30 minutes in haphazard conditions and, speaking to his club's official site in the wake of the defeat, Lambert failed to hide his annoyance over some of the decisions that went against his team.
He said: “Looking at their first goal, it is offside and how the officials have missed that I am not entirely sure.
“In these games, especially in situations like we are in, then you need the big decisions to go your way, and today they haven’t unfortunately.
“We are fighting for our lives and I think we showed that today, especially with the commitment and effort we showed with ten men.
I get the feeling a lot of the good will Paul Lambert got will have disappeared after that team selection.— Utch Stokie 🏴⚽️🇺🇸🏈 (@UtchStokie) March 17, 2018
I'm totally baffled why they (Hughes and now Lambert) refuse to play 2 up front when 1 clearly doesn't work, especially in a must win game at home to a poor Everton team
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“Going behind was tough, given the circumstances of that goal, but we responded so well and when we got the leveller I thought that we looked the more likely to score again.
“Unfortunately, they go up the other end of the field, just after we had a chance ourselves, and they score another goal to really hurt us - and effectively kill the game.”
In Charlie Adam's last 55 minutes on the pitch for Stoke, he has:— George (@GeorgeLW96) March 17, 2018
Missed a pen
Missed an open net rebound
Gone in studs up for a header
Wrestled a player to the floor
Should've given away a pen
Put the opposition clean through
Blasted a free kick into the wall
Been sent off
“It is a really tough one to take because we couldn’t have given anymore today, but we lost the game, so we have to dust ourselves down, regroup and get ready to go again after the international break.”
Stoke find themselves stuck in 19th position in the league standings after their loss to the Blues, and must now pick their heads up to try and reign in the clubs above them to maintain their top flight status.