Lambert refuses to blame Butland blunder for Stoke failing to beat Leicester

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Paul Lambert refused to blame Jack Butland for Stoke’s failure to win at Leicester and labelled his goalkeeper the best in Britain.

Stoke remain in the Premier League relegation places after an error from Butland meant they had to settle for a point from a 1-1 draw.

Lambert’s team looked set to climb out of the bottom three ahead of the Saturday afternoon top-flight fixtures after Xherdan Shaqiri’s lovely first-half finish put them ahead.

However, Butland gifted Leicester an equaliser with an own goal midway through the second half when he misjudged a Marc Albrighton cross.

Asked if the 24-year-old should carry any blame, Lambert said: “None whatsoever, I’m just disappointed he’s not Scottish.

“Butland, in my opinion, is the best goalkeeper in Britain, without a shadow of a doubt. Honestly he is an absolutely brilliant goalkeeper, he really is.

“He’ll make mistakes, like any other footballer, but more importantly he’s a top class keeper and a top class guy to have around the football club.

“He made some terrific saves – I think the one to his right was his best save.”

Lambert was referring to a strong one-handed stop to deny Riyad Mahrez as Butland began to go some way towards making amends for his mistake eight minutes previously.

He also got a touch on to a fiercely-struck shot from Harry Maguire which hit a post and combined with Kurt Zouma late on to block another Mahrez effort.

“Congratulations to the opponent’s goalkeeper because he played very well,” said Leicester boss Claude Puel, who felt his team lacked a cutting edge in front of goal.

“Their goalkeeper made some fantastic saves but during our period of pressure in the second half we needed to find more. The tempo in our play was not enough and we needed to find more conviction in our play and be more aggressive.

“A draw at home because of the draw at home to Swansea is not enough for us.

“I think probably overall a draw is a fair result as we could win this game, we could also lose.”

Leicester may have lost had Shaqiri’s 40-yard effort following a mistake by Kasper Schmeichel gone in, rather than curl agonisingly wide of the post.

“That would have made it 2-0 and I thought we should have been two or three up before they even scored,” said Lambert.

“Shaq, who I think is world class footballer, scored a terrific goal and his vision for the second effort was outstanding.”

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