Lambert points finger at Diouf's miss as Stoke peer into abyss
Stoke 1 Burnley 1
Paul Lambert pinpointed Mame Biram Diouf's miss as the key moment of Stoke's 1-1 draw with Burnley, which dealt another huge blow to the Potters' survival hopes.
Having targeted three wins from their final four games, Lambert now believes nothing less than victories over Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Swansea will prolong their decade-long stay in the Premier League.
As in recent games, Stoke had plenty of bright moments and went ahead in the 11th minute through Badou Ndiaye's first goal for the club.
They should have been two up at half-time but Diouf contrived to make no contact on Moritz Bauer's cross while unmarked less than 10 yards from goal and Ashley Barnes bundled in the equaliser in the 62nd minute.
Lambert said: "We have to go to Anfield and get a result, then play Palace and get a result, and then go to Swansea and get a result. We have to win.
"We got off to the perfect start and looked great, and then the big moment - Mame's chance -was huge for us. He hasn't taken the chance but I can't fault him for effort and commitment and giving us everything.
"It probably looked as bad from where you were sitting as it did from where I was standing. He had a decision but he never made any decision about whether to go for a shot or whether to control it and he got caught in between."
Stoke were grateful to Jack Butland for a number of good saves and were cursing their luck two minutes from time when Stephen Ireland's curling shot hit the outside of the post.
The Potters have improved since Lambert took over in January but their only win came in his first match 12 games ago, and their problems have been at both ends.
Stoke have managed just six goals in the last 10 games, while their goal difference of minus 33 makes a four-point gap to safety effectively five.