Stoke City making plans for both relegation and survival

Stoke have been making recruitment plans for the Championship but manager Paul Lambert insists he is not yet resigned to losing any players.

The Potters have three games to save themselves, starting against Liverpool on Saturday, and may need to win them all to extend their decade-long stay in the Premier League.

Lambert still fully believes they can do it but manager and club are planning for both eventualities and drawing up a list of potential targets.

He said: "We know the two scenarios so we can't be naive and bury our heads in the sand. We spoke about it a couple of weeks ago -- plan A and plan B -- as you would expect.

"It's up to us to get them in. We have to get guys in here that want to play for the club first and foremost, who want to be here and want to work and do the right things. That's paramount for us.''

Finding a goalscorer or two will surely be Lambert's top priority.

Mame Biram Diouf and Peter Crouch are his only available senior forwards, with Eric Choupo-Moting injured and Saido Berahino and Jese Rodriguez both banished from the first team for disciplinary reasons.

The Potters have managed just seven goals in an 11-game winless run and they look set to pay dearly for missed chances.

Lambert expects to be given the final say on new recruits and praised chairman Peter Coates and his son John, the vice-chairman, for their approach.

He said: "The chairman and John have been great with me. They've been supportive and right behind us. The good thing is that everybody recognises what's gone wrong.

"If we're sitting here and nobody recognised what was going on and why it went wrong there would be no point. But there's no point holding onto the past. We have to rebuild and that's the positive thing.

"I've no doubt I have a core allied to a massive support behind us, which will drive us on. My job is to balance the squad out better than it has been and get ones in that I know are going to work. But I have a core of boys that will do for me and hopefully we will stay in the league and it's the same format.''

While Lambert concentrates on the potential incomers, should Stoke go down, vultures are sure to circle for the likes of goalkeeper Jack Butland and playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri, while midfielder Badou Ndiaye has also reportedly been attracting attention.

But Lambert said: "I don't know, I've not had the chat with the guys. They've got the World Cup as well so the last thing they'd want to think about is that.

"They are trying to keep the club up. Until it's over then we'll start to speak about what's what.''