England manager Roy Hodgson insists the international door remains open for Saints striker Rickie Lambert.

Ever since the club won promotion to the Premier League, it has been mooted that Lambert could earn recognition with his country. That is yet to happen, though.

For the friendly against Sweden earlier this week, Hodgson took the decision to promote some of the country’s younger players into the squad.

However, the Three Lions boss has reassured the likes of Lambert and Norwich’s Grant Holt that they remain on his radar.

"You understand when you are a national team coach that you have a job of picking 20 players for a squad and there are a lot of fans around the country who feel their team is disadvantaged because they do not have a representative, that is not to say their representatives are not good enough,” said Hodgson.

"In the case of your man, Grant Holt, of course there is no reason why a man like him with the abilities he has could not play for England.

"But the problem for me is there are a lot of other players who can play for England as well with maybe different characteristics. Sometimes you have to take all these things into account.

"It can also be a question of what particular time you are playing and who your competitors are.

"I have not made any strong judgements for or against players like Grant, or players of the same sort of ability as him.

"Lambert at Southampton is often mentioned, and he is a player who has had a similar career [to Holt], done fantastically well to come through the lower leagues and prove themselves at every level.

"[West Ham striker] Andy Carroll of course is another player in that category and he has been in the England squad."

Hodgson added: "The last time we played I went down a slightly different route, but that is not to say I will never go back to a route where I am looking for a player of Andy Carroll's stature, of Grant Holt's stature, of Rickie Lambert's stature, and then these players will come very much once again into consideration."