THE first quarter of the season seems to have been a breeze for Saints thus far – and one player in particular has taken to the Championship like the proverbial duck.

There were question marks hanging over the ability of Rickie Lambert to make the step up to the second tier, despite his blistering form in League One.

For years he has been pounding the onion bag with ferocious shots, but because he had never gone above the lower divisions some were worried about his ability to carry on leading the line.

It would seem it was rather foolish to doubt the number seven.

Like the team in the full table, Lambert currently sits atop the individual scorers' league, having netted eight league goals this term so far – that’s not that far off a goal-a-game scoring ratio.

If anything, he has relished the step up and the teams that overlooked him while he was at Bristol Rovers must be thinking they missed a trick.

The Watford match last week marked the century of league games in Saints’ colours for Rickie and during those games he has scored 59 times.

That is a record you have to doff your cap to, no matter what.

Southampton’s favourite Scouser has done nothing but cement his position in the first XI.

The more fluid style of football the team is playing is presenting him with even more opportunities – the sort of which natural born finishers such as Lambert thrive on.

Most surprising though is the manner of some of his goals.

Against Swindon in the League Cup, he netted goals that were based more on reaction and speed rather than the power and strength he is known for.

As much as Pardew transformed a talented striker into a top drawer professional footballer, Adkins’ coaching staff seem to be adding more strings to the bow, refining the product even further.

At 29, Lambert, pictured right, is in what many people consider the prime of his career and his form certainly backs-up that assumption.

However as much as Championship teams decided taking the gamble when he was in League One, it would seem unlikely that any Premier League sides would gamble on him now.

That is very much how Saints fans like it, as if Lambert carries on like this, he will indeed be leading the team to the Premier League.

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