Jese Rodriguez to make Stoke return against Brighton, says Paul Lambert
Last Updated: 08/02/18 3:28pm
Jese Rodriguez is set to return to the Stoke City squad against Brighton, manager Paul Lambert has confirmed.
The former Real Madrid winger made the loan switch to Stoke from Paris Saint-Germain during the summer window, but has missed large periods of the campaign due to personal reasons.
The 24-year-old returned to Stoke training in January and Lambert confirmed he will be in the squad to face Brighton on Saturday.
"He's had a bit of time off and I thought his fitness levels were down a little bit from his personal stuff," said Lambert. "But he's back, he played in a U23s game and he did well."
Stoke are three points behind Brighton in the Premier League table and slipped into the relegation zone following a 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth.
Lambert is aware of the significance of Saturday's fixture, admitting his team are now playing each game with a must-win mentality, but feels this can be of benefit.
"It's a game we can win," Lambert added. "We have to get points and that's the main objective.
"For me the big thing is that we're playing where we have to go and win. We know it's a difficult game, Chris [Hughton] has done great with them to bring them up from the Championship. We're the home team, the onus is on us.
The Scot is hoping his new signing Badou Ndiaye can continue his strong early form, following his impressive debut against Bournemouth.
"Badou Ndiaye was excellent on his debut last weekend. For a lad who had only come in on the Friday and not really knowing his team-mates, he was first class," Lambert added.
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