Manager reflects on Hammers draw...
PAUL LAMBERT insists his Stoke City side remain firmly in the battle for Premier League survival after claiming a point from their trip to West Ham United
The Potters had looked to be on course for a huge win when substitute Peter Crouch showed a true goal-poacher's instinct to fire the visitors in front 11 minutes from time at the London Stadium.
The Hammers had the last laugh, however, as another sub, Andy Carroll, broke City's heart with a 90th minute equaliser.
The draw leaves City five points adrift of safety with four games remaining - the next of which will see Burnley visit the bet365 Stadium on Sunday.
"Make no mistake, we're still in their fighting," Lambert declared. "I've been in football a long time and I know when a team is wilting but that's not us.
"I couldn't have asked any more from the players; they've given me and the fans who made the trip everything they've got.
"I thought we were brilliant and when Peter gave us the lead it looked like being the perfect evening for us. It's disappointing to concede late on but you can't fault the quality of Andy Carroll's finish."
Lambert was quick to highlight the midfield contribution of Badou Ndiaye: "I thought he was unplayable in the first half," the manager enthused. "He was immense, as was Joe Allen, but it's difficult to find fault with anyone.
"The fans can see how much the players are giving us. The support they gave us throughout was magnificent and I'm sure the bet365 Stadium will be absolutely rocking on Sunday when we play Burnley.
"I still think we need three wins and if we can beat Burnley then I think we will really set a cat amongst the pigeons."
Lambert was forced to make one change to his starting line-up with Glen Johnson forced out with a groin injury but he will hope to have him available for the visit of the Clarets on Sunday.