Stoke City manager Paul Lambert has confirmed that Saido Berahino and Jese Rodriguez will not be returning to the match day squads for the Potters crucial run-in, as the club battle to avoid relegation.
Both forwards are being punished for their behaviour with Berahino reporting late for a reserve game, while Jese is reportedly AWOL after failing to show for training earlier in April.
Speaking to reporters, as quoted by BBC Sport, Lambert said: “It’s my decision, I think it’s right for the football club.”
Lambert’s call to continue the freeze out of both players out means Stoke are left with just three attackers to choose from for the remainder of the season, with veteran Peter Crouch, Mame Biram Diouf, and teenager Tyrese Campbell the Potters only options up top.
Crouch and Diouf have scored just four times between them since November, so the Potters will be hoping for a remarkable upturn in form for their final games as they fight to stay in the top flight.
Lambert’s side didn’t score but picked up an unexpected point away to Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, meaning Stoke now sit three points from Premier League safety with two games to play. However, Swansea and Southampton (who are directly above the Potters in the table) both have a game in hand.