Stoke City have confirmed that Paul Lambert and head of recruitment Mark Cartwright will remain at the club even if they're relegated.
The Potters lie 19th in the Premier League with only three matches left to play, and must win their final trio of clashes to stand any chance of staying up.
Stoke chairman Peter Coates spoke to the Stoke Sentinel in the wake of his team's 1-1 draw with Burnley last weekend, and revealed that there were no plans to let Lambert or Cartwright go despite criticism from sections of the club's fanbase.
Lambert has struggled to secure the wins necessary to haul the Staffordshire side clear of the drop zone, while Cartwright has been slammed for failing to help significantly bolster the first team squad in the January transfer window to aid the club's fight against relegation.
Coates, however, backed up the duo and insisted that both had done all that they could to try and help Stoke retain their top flight status.
Of Lambert he said: “Paul is under contract and there are no plans to change. We haven’t been winning games because we haven’t been scoring goals. It’s not his fault that we haven’t got a goalscorer.
If #StokeCity had a goal scorer we’d of beaten Bournemouth, Leicester, Watford, West Ham, Brighton, and Burnley! PL would bring us straight back up I’m 100% certain! Not deluded. MH cost us, Peter Coates aided that! Yet it’s lamberts fault? Turn it in! #SCFC— Bryn Shurgold (@BrynShurgold) April 23, 2018
“You must remember we had Jese at great cost and Saido Berahino at great cost, but they haven’t performed for us.”
Lambert signed a two-and-a-half year deal when he replaced the sacked Mark Hughes in the dugout three months ago, while Cartwright has spent the past five-and-a-half years as technical director in the Potteries.
Coates also chose to defend his record in the transfer market and claimed all efforts were made to bring in the right reinforcements to help to stave off relegation to the Championship.
The banner I’ve seen aimed at Peter Coates smacks of short memory. It’s as pointless as it is offensive. Yes he’s made mistakes and yes he got too complacent bordering arrogant but he’ll be hurting as much as us. He’s been let down by many employees. No need to turn it nasty.— Andrew Rushton (@rushy6) April 23, 2018
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He added: “We tried to spend money, but for whatever reason we weren’t successful. Good strikers who will make a difference are not easy to find, as anyone in football will tell you.
“We tried to sign Daniel Sturridge from Liverpool for example, but he preferred West Bromwich Albion because he wanted to move to that area. We tried for Danny Ings, but once they let Sturridge go they wouldn’t let him go.”
“There is nothing wrong with the process, it’s about the judgement of the players brought in. We are satisfied with the systems we’ve got. Processes don’t stop you making mistakes, that’s a matter of judgement.
“Ultimately, the manager decides. He’s fed lots of information and we don’t skimp on information., but every manager makes mistakes, and always will, including Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, but obviously you have to try and minimise those mistakes."