Charlie Adam: Stoke players 'got away with murder' in lack of effort

Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam says some of his teammates were "getting away with murder for a long time" with their lack of effort for the relegated club.

The Potters were the first Premier League club to have their relegation confirmed this weekend, and Adam said "four of five" players were not pulling their weight.

"It's embarrassing because we should never have been in that situation," Adam told BBC Radio. "As a group you have your seven or eight who try their hardest to make it work and we failed.

"A lack of discipline from certain players has been embarrassing. I'll be honest for the supporters, I think some players have been getting away with murder for a long time and it's difficult for supporters. It's not just one or two, I think there are four or five that could be counted."

Adam's comments echoed the thoughts of goalkeeper Jack Butland, who said a day earlier that manager Paul Lambert couldn't "rely on" on some "ill-disciplined" players.

Butland had also called a number of the club's transfers "farcical," and Adam agreed that a failure to properly replace forward Marko Arnautovic, who moved to West Ham last summer, was a major factor in the club's woes.

"The biggest thing for us is we never replaced Marko," Adam said. "You can lose players, but when you lose players who can win you a game you are going to struggle. As a group of players we should hang our heads in shame because that club should never be relegated.

"We know what's going to happen. People will lose their jobs and we're the ones to blame for that."

On the players Stoke did bring in, Adam added: "We've spent a lot of money but you need to do your homework and have the right characters coming in."