Hodgson eases Lambert pressure

England boss Roy Hodgson is keen not to pin all his hopes on Rickie Lambert continuing his goalscoring start.

Last Updated: 10/09/13 at 08:44 Post Comment

Lambert: Impressive start to England career

Lambert: Impressive start to England career

England boss Roy Hodgson is keen not to pin all his World Cup hopes on Rickie Lambert continuing his goalscoring start to life as an international footballer.

With Danny Welbeck suspended and Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Andy Carroll all ruled out by injury, Lambert will be pitched into the biggest game of his career as England take on Ukraine in Kiev.

Whilst victory would take Hodgson's side within touching distance of an automatic slot in next year's finals, defeat would hand the initiative to their hosts, who still have another match against San Marino to play.

Hodgson could not wish for Lambert to be in more confident mood after becoming the first England player to score in his first two games since Peter Taylor 37 years ago.

But he also knows the run cannot last forever.

"I would like to play down Rickie for his own sake because it is almost a fairytale that you get selected at 31 having played in the lower leagues, then come on in your debut and score a fantastic centre-forward's goal," Hodgson said.

"On top of that you then play an important game, score one, set up two and look as though you have never been outside an England set-up in your life.

"That is some achievement.

"I am bit worried we are going to hang a bit too much on him (tonight).

"The important thing is that he plays his part in the team and makes certain he doesn't let us down in any way.

"Who knows? He might surprise us and add a third to the fairytale, but if he doesn't he is still going to be a player England will get some use out of in the future."

It is barely credible that a player who had never been involved at any higher level than League One just 26 months ago should be charged with such responsibility.

Yet it is the very journey Lambert has undertaken to reach his present status as national hero that convinces Hodgson he has the mentality required.

"Rickie's mentality must be very strong," Hodgson said.

"Surely he hasn't just become a talented footballer who has good touch on the ball, works hard for his team and has a good understanding.

"Yet people, including me, have been watching him play and passing him over.

"You have to be very strong mentally to suffer that many knock backs but still keep believing in yourself, to keep saying 'no-one is singing my praises but I am still a good player'."


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

hy is the dinosaur trying to hold on to this.... Just leave... No one wants you in this position you corrupt loser. Let someone else take over....

arsenal121
Defiant Sepp blames minority

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

Footer 365

D-day for FIFA as Sepp Blatter opens 65th congress

Sepp Blatter has formally opened FIFA's congress on a day his critics hope could signal a new start for football.

FA chairman Greg Dyke calls for possible Russia 2018 boycott

FA chairman Greg Dyke wants UEFA nations to consider pulling out of the World Cup finals in Russia in three years' time.

Sepp Blatter vs Prince Ali: FIFA election explained

Will Sepp Blatter see off Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein? We explain how Friday's presidential vote works...

Mail Box

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company