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Hodgson hails Lambert debut
Roy Hodgson hinted that Rickie Lambert could be an England international for a while to come after hailing his “fairytale” debut.
The England boss described the Saints striker, who scored the winner in the 3-2 win over Scotland at Wembley with his first touch as an international footballer, as “a breath of fresh air.”
Hodgson conceded that Lambert may face increased competition for a place in the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine at the start of September but made it pretty clear he was near the top of his list.
“I guess so,” he said. “Next time there might be a bit more competition.
“Daniel Sturridge is back playing and had 45 minutes behind closed doors, Andy Carroll is not so far away from fitness so we will see what happens in the next three weeks.
“He(Lambert) won’t be being struck off my list very likely, put it that way.
“It’s now up to him in the next three weeks to go out for his Southampton team and continue doing what he did last year - helping his team not only with assists but perhaps even more importantly putting that ball in the back of the net because that’s what we know Rickie Lambert can do.”
Hodgson’s call-up was an incredible moment for Lambert, but nothing could surely top the striker scoring just three minutes into his England debut at the age of 31, and in the process securing a third Wembley win in three visits as a player.
Hodgson was delighted with the striker and his team’s battling display in general.
“I would suggest it was against the run of play on both occasions but all credit to Scotland,” he reflected.
“They were well organised and very sharp on the counter attack and they certainly restricted the space in and around their penalty area as I expected them to do.
“We had to work hard and try things and it’s very satisfying to win a game like that when you can come from behind twice, and it’s even more satisfying when you get a fairytale story like Rickie Lambert who did very well when he came on.
“He’s been a breath of fresh air while he’s been with us.
“He’s so enthusiastic, so happy to be part of the squad and what a wonderful story that he’s now crowned it with the winning goal.
“He could have gone away with the match ball as he had the shot against the post and the shot that McGregor managed to palm away.
“I think he’ll be pretty happy with the one goal and the fact it was a winning goal so maybe he needs to save a couple for later on.”
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