Stoke City manager Paul Lambert insisted that all eyes are geared towards gaining a positive result against West Ham United at the London Stadium on Monday evening.
The 48-year-old declined the opportunity to make any comment on the situation regarding Jese and Saido Berahino. On-loan Paris Saint Germain attacker Jese has reportedly failed to turn up for training, while Berahino has been demoted to train with the under-23s.
Speaking to the media on Thursday afternoon, Lambert said: “The group at the moment is playing really well. The supporters are right behind us and that’s my main concern – the West Ham game. That’s all I’m focused on.
“You need a little bit of luck at certain times, but the performances have been incredibly high. The way we’ve performed and the way we’ve played, I couldn’t ask any more from the team.
“They’ve been excellent and given everything I’ve asked them to do.”
The Potters are winless in their last nine Premier League outings and have lost their last four, leaving them four points adrift of safety in second-bottom.
Despite slipping to a 2-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at the bet365 Stadium last weekend, Lambert was encouraged by his team’s performance along with the response from the supporters.
“The atmosphere here last weekend was incredible,” he continued. “I’ve been in the game a long time and I’ve not seen that reaction to a team that’s lost a game.
“The fans are with us which is the most important thing and if we can keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll certainly win games.
“As I said before, you need a little bit of Lady Luck on your side but performance-wise I’m really happy with the way the team’s played.
“I see it (the belief) and I’ve saw it since I’ve came. You judge a team by the crowd’s reaction and the crowd’s reaction is right with us.”
Stoke face a Hammers side that have picked up four points from their last two fixtures against Southampton and Chelsea under David Moyes. That followed a turbulent run of three straight defeats which saw supporters enter the field of play during their 3-0 loss against Burnley.
Lambert is targeting all three points from Monday night’s trip to the capital, with a result that could see them close the gap on those above.
“We have to come away with something without a doubt. The intent is to go and win, that’s our intent. We’ll do everything we can to get three points.
“If we get a win then it drags a few back into the equation, that’s the most important thing. If we keep playing the way we are and keep doing the things I’m asking them to do, then we’ve got a great chance.
“I’ve just thought about staying in the league. That’s still my aim – stay in the league and then we can look at next season and what happens from there.
“This football club was built on sheer graft, hard work and with a little sprinkle of gold dust at the top end. We have to get that back and give the fans what has happened here before.”