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Tadanari Lee hoping to earn first start for Southampton
TADANARI Lee is hoping his wonder goal against Derby will earn him a first Saints league start since his January move.
The Japanese striker bagged his first Saints goal with a stunning strike across the penalty area and into the opposite top corner to round off his side’s 4-0 hammering of Derby at St Mary’s last weekend.
Lee, pictured, came on at half time to replace Billy Sharp, who is still settling into life on the south coast, and is now pushing to take his place in the starting line-up when Saints visit Watford tomorrow.
Sharp has been preferred since his £1.8m switch from Doncaster last month and has shown signs of striking up a good partnership with Lambert but has not had quite the goal threat he usually carries as he gets used to his new surroundings.
Lee has been enjoying a similar settling in period after J-League football in Japan but his goal against Derby has put him well into contention to bag a start.
David Connolly is another option having been on the bench in recent weeks whilst Adkins should also be able to call upon Guly do Prado again.
The Brazilian was forced to sit out the Derby game through illness but could come back into the side at Vicarage Road tomorrow.
Should Adkins decide to include him then he will face a very tough choice – either play him up front with Lambert or drop Richard Chaplow from the right of midfield after his impressive return to the side following injury.
Adkins is also hoping that Frazer Richardson will have recovered sufficiently from his minor injury to return to the team. If not then Dan Harding could continue to deputise at right back or there could be a first league appearance since October for the fit again Danny Butterfield.
Jos Hooiveld was withdrawn at half time in the Derby game having already scored to put Saints ahead.
That move was a precaution as he was again feeling the tight hamstring that had kept him out of action for a few weeks previously.
Hooiveld should be fully fit and ready to start again alongside Jose Fonte in the centre of the Saints defence.