Paul Lambert: New Stoke boss unfazed by not being club's first choice

Ross Houston
January 17, 2018

Lambert has been handed the job of trying to save the Potters from relegation after being appointed as successor to Mark Hughes.

Stoke are third from bottom of the Premier League after taking just 20 points from 22 games.

The Scot has been out of work for the past seven months since he was sacked by Wolves, but he now needs to hit the ground running with the Potters. "Would they have known who I was?"

On Sunday, Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill rejected the chance to take over at the bet365 Stadium, after Gary Rowett signed a new contract at Derby County and former Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores chose to remain with La Liga side Espanyol.

Speaking in his first press conference on Tuesday, the former Aston Villa and Norwich City head coach admitted he was not concerned if he was the club's "15th or 50th choice".

"I never had a problem with Stephen", Lambert stressed.

"I'm absolutely delighted that they chose me and that I'm working under them".

Stoke, now 18th in the Premier League, had been interested in Gary Rowett before he signed a new contract at Derby, and subsequently targeted Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, both of whom removed themselves from the running.

While there may have been fans underwhelmed by the appointment, "Paul Lambert's Barmy Army" was heard being chanted by Stoke supporters on Monday evening at Old Trafford, where the 48-year-old watched the 3-0 loss to Manchester United from the stands.

"I'm 100 per cent sure we've got more than enough here to stay up".

"Paul greatly impressed us with his knowledge of our squad and had a clear plan of how he would improve our results", said chairman Peter Coates.

His first match in charge will be at home to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

"Going forward I think we're really good. We need to get ourselves up the table and I intend on doing just that", added Lambert.

"The Premier League, every game is hard - no matter who you are playing".

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