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Lambert confident Saints can continue to pull out the shocks
RICKIE Lambert believes Saints will “shock a few people” all season.
He refuses to be distracted by the possibility of Champions League and World Cup football in 2014, but Lambert is confident Saints will still be “up there” at the end of the season following the 2-0 win against Fulham.
With four wins and a draw at Old Trafford from their last five Premier League games, Saints are ensconced in the top five above both Manchester giants.
Lambert believes Saints will continue to surprise.
“Everyone has their own opinions on how long it’s going to last but we’re going to focus on what we do and if we do that I think we’re going to shock a few people,” he said.
“It’s going to be a challenge, even if we do well we’ll drop places because other teams will do really well.
“But I think we’re going to be up there. This is only my second season in the Premier League but we deserve to be where we are and we have to believe we can stay there.”
Lambert scored one goal and made another on his return to the starting line-up against Fulham.
“That was our best performance of the season,” he said. “It was superb, I can’t congratulate the boys enough on that performance, it was perfect from start to finish.
“Especially in the first half, we dominated play and when they got the ball we got it back very quickly.”
Lambert’s 20th-minute opener, a far-post header after James Ward-Prowse’s corner was flicked on, followed his penalty at West Brom and his free-kick against Crystal Palace as his third Premier League goal of the season.
“It was nice to get on the scoresheet from open play and it gave us the confidence to go on,” said Lambert, who made the second for Jay Rodriguez just before half-time.
“I knew Jay was back post and that if I got it there he would beat his man,” he said. “Jay was very brave, he ended up whacking into the post, but full credit to him, it was great determination.”
Lambert was outstanding against Fulham and insists he was not proving a point following his omission from the starting line-up at Manchester United a week earlier.
“Not at all, the gaffer makes the decision he thinks is best for each game and I was totally fine with it, he brought me on and I was happy to help get a result,” he said. “With Dani [Osvaldo] back, we’ll be stronger for next Saturday.”
Saints can extend their unbeaten run to eight league and cup matches at Stoke City. Lambert added: “We’ll be going to win, there’s no reason why we can’t get three points the way we’re playing, but Stoke are a good team playing well under Mark Hughes so it will be hard.”
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