Stoke relegated from Premier League: Paul Lambert says club 'too big' to stay down

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Stoke have to bounce back up - Lambert

Stoke City are "too good" not to return to the Premier League after relegation and would have had to rebuild even if they had stayed up this season, says manager Paul Lambert.

The Potters' 10-year stay in the top flight came to an end with a 2-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace in their penultimate game of their season.

"The club is too big not to bounce back and it's got the right infrastructure in place to do it," said Lambert.

"I can't have asked for more effort."

Lambert signed a two-and-a-half-year contract in January after the sacking of Mark Hughes, and says he would be happy to continue in the role.

"The story of the 15 games I've been here for has been exceptional effort and commitment. The club is in a good position to rebuild and either way they had to rebuild," he added.

"I love it here, it's brilliant. It's probably not too dissimilar to Glasgow where I'm from; a hard-working place. We have to bounce back up now."

Switzerland midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri has already said he will seek talks with the club over his future, while goalkeeper Jack Butland has been linked with Liverpool and Wolves.

A number of the club's recent big-money arrivals have fallen badly out of favour.

Record signing Giannelli Imbula has spent the season on loan at Toulouse, while Kevin Wimmer - signed from Tottenham for £18m in August - and Saido Berahino - signed from West Brom for £12m in January 2017 - have been dropped to the under-23s.

"We lacked a bit more quality at the top end of the pitch," said Lambert.

"If the lads had been playing the way they did for me all season they probably wouldn't be in this position."

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