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Lambert believes in Dani partnership
RICKIE Lambert reckons Saints fans can look forward to seeing a lot more of Dani Osvaldo at his best.
Lambert believes his fellow striker will thrive following his sensational second goal in as many games, against Manchester City last Saturday. “There’s nothing better for a striker than to score a goal and the one Dani scored was top class, one of the best I’ve ever seen,” said Lambert.
Osvaldo had scored once in his first ten Saints appearances before netting twice in four days, starting with the second equaliser in the 3-2 defeat at home to Aston Villa.
“As a striker it’s very hard when you’re not as confident as you want to be, stuff doesn’t come off and it’s taken him a little while, but we’re desperate for him to do well and I’m sure that goal’s given him the confidence to push on,” Lambert said. Wonder goal “That and Adam Lallana’s goal against Hull are two of the best I’ve seen at St Mary’s.”
Italy international Osvaldo’s wonder goal came the day after the World Cup draw created the possibility of a head-to-head with Lambert in Brazil on June 15.
“Kelvin [Davis] said it was a great goal but score any like that against England and you won’t be welcome back!” smiled Lambert, who also remains confident that he and Osvaldo can fire together consistently.
The pair have not started together since the 2-0 win against Swansea on October 6 and their only full 90 minutes in tandem was the goalless draw at home to West Ham in mid-September.
But Lambert believes the partnership can work.
“If the gaffer chooses to go with both of us I’m sure we can cause defenders problems,” he said. “I think we’ve done well when we’ve played together and it’s only going to get stronger. It’s still developing and needs time.
“But it’s not just me and him, it’s about the team as well, understanding how the both of us play and getting to know our movements.”
“It’s overwhelming if I think too much about what the club’s done and where it is now, it’s unbelievable,” said Lambert, who was signed by Pardew from Bristol Rovers for a bargain £1m in August 2009.
Lambert looked to have salvaged a point against Pardew’s side in the corresponding game of last season, which Newcastle won 4-2 following a controversial penalty decision against Danny Fox and a Jos Hooiveld own goal. It was a rare highlight of a difficult season for Pardew, who celebrated three years as Newcastle manager earlier this week. “He’s done really well again this season, the fans stuck with him and I’m made up he’s doing well again – but it’s going to be one of the toughest tests for us on Saturday,” continued Lambert.
“Last year we thought we were the better team at 2-2 but two goals killed us. “We deserved something but I think the atmosphere had a lot to do with the ref’s decision. Enhances “It’s an incredible atmosphere at St James’s Park. When I was younger it might have affected my game but I’m in a good place now. I take everything in, try and savour it and if anything it enhances my game.”
Saints are preparing to take on a Newcastle side that has won five of its last six Premier League games.
“They’re one of the form teams in the Premier League but we’re confident we can get three points,” Lambert continued. “The three losses on the bounce hurt us a lot so we were very pleased to stop that run with a terrific performance against Manchester City. “It was great character from the boys to come back into it against a top team and I thought we were the better side; we had the better chances.”
Saints will go back above Newcastle into seventh if they win at St James’ Park for the first time since Matt Le Tissier scored the only goal there on March 1 1997.
Europe remains a realistic target for both sides. “If we don’t get it this season we’ll push even more next year, it’s the ambition we have as a club set out by the chairman four years ago,” added Lambert. “It shows how far you can come.”
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