SAINTS legend Rickie Lambert is tipping Danny Ings to hit the ground running when football returns.

Before the current campaign was brought to a halt Ings was widely expected to be named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad at the end of March.

The 27-year-old has netted 18 goals in just 33 appearances this season to help fire Saints away from the relegation zone.

Daily Echo: Danny IngsDanny Ings

Despite missing out on the England squad because of the coronavirus crisis, Lambert believes Ings will just be focused on adding to his already impressive tally when football returns.

Speaking on the talkSPORT GameDay podcast, the ex-Saint said: “I don’t think he’ll be thinking any down thoughts.

“His mentality is superb, and he’ll just be thinking that he’s going to carry on what he was doing.

“It doesn’t matter when the Euros is going to come, he is good enough to continue his form

“He would have been a success at Liverpool if he didn’t have the injuries that he did. He wasn’t getting the games he needed at the end, so it was a brilliant move for him to come to Southampton.

“I know he was a Southampton fan and I knew it would come together for him.”

Ings and Lambert had a brief spell together at Liverpool back in 2015 before the Kirkby-born ace left to join West Brom later that summer.

The current Saints striker’s spell at Anfield was wrecked by two serious knee injuries which stopped him making his mark with the current Champions League holders.

In order to get game time, he joined the St Mary’s side on loan in 2018 which was turned into a permanent £18m deal the following year after it included an obligation to buy clause.

Reflecting on their brief time together at Liverpool, Lambert added: “I played with him at Liverpool for a bit and I was shocked at how good he is: he is very, very good.

“I can see him going on to doing even better next season.”