IPSWICH Town boss Paul Lambert hailed an "excellent" display from his side - despite remaining rooted to the foot of the Championship table after going down 2-0 at Stoke City.

The hosts took the lead in first-half stoppage time as Sam Clucas slipped in Tom Ince, who fired past Dean Gerken.

Jack Lankester had earlier struck a post and fired narrowly over the crossbar for Town.

Joe Allen then made it two on the hour-mark to extend the hosts' unbeaten league run to eight games.

"I thought we were brilliant the whole game," said Lambert.

"We came here with a strategy.

"This is a tough place to come. I know it like the back of my hand.

"We were the better side.

"I'm disappointed by the result but the performance was excellent and some of the football we played was great.

"We're a really young side but to come here and do what we've done is excellent."

Stoke climbed to tenth, four points off the play-offs, after their third win in the past eight games.

Ipswich, in contrast, are seven points adrift at the bottom.

Lambert was unable to halt a run of four consecutive defeats on his first return to the club he left as manager in May.

His side arguably deserved more from their first league meeting with Stoke since 2008, but Lambert is still without a win in his six matches in charge at Portman Road.

To add to their problems, midfielder Cole Skuse will miss the next two months with a knee injury.

Lambert made five changes for Saturday's game at the bet365 Stadium, including a switch in goal with former Colchester United man Gerken replacing the out-of-sorts Bartosz Bialkowski.

The Town boss stuck with his regular back four but with Skuse out, Trevoh Chalobah returned in the deeper midfield role with Flynn Downes and Jon Nolan, making his first start since the change of manager, ahead of him.

Lankester made his second senior start, with Freddie Sears on the left and Jordan Roberts the central striker.

Kayden Jackson and Grant Ward, starters at Forest last week, missed out on places in the 18.

Teddy Bishop dropped to the bench.

Next up for Town are two crucial home games, against Wigan Athletic next Saturday and Sheffield United on December 22.