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

I

d like to add players who push their team-mates out of the way to celebrate on their own

exhausted
The Ten Most Hated Things In Football

I

f I were Manuel Pellegrini I would keep quiet and hope the Board didn't notice City not winning anything. If he isn't sacked I'd be astonished.

lfcfan80
Pellegrini: I won't be sacked

S

till I suppose it still gives him at least another year in the job. By the time it comes around , he can always make up another excuse. First it was 3 months , then a year .....Next year ? Whats his excuse with Van Persie ?

spud1
Di Maria 'could peak next year'

Footer 365

Neville 'concerned' over Reds form

Gary Neville has admitted that he is "concerned" that a resurgent Liverpool could qualify for the Champions League ahead of Manchester United.

Boro claim top spot as Derby lose

Middlesbrough became the new Championship leaders as they took advantage of Derby's latest slip by beating Millwall 3-0.

Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom: Benteke's late show helps end Villa's long wait for a win

Tim Sherwood recorded his first win as Aston Villa boss as Christian Benteke's late penalty helped beat West Brom 2-1.

Mail Box

United's No 2 Isn't That Bad Either...

One mailboxer is getting in a flap about the claim Man Utd would struggle without De Dea, while there's some anger directed at Chelsea...

There Are Mitigating Circumstances For LVG

One Mailboxer is admant there are mitigating circumstances to LVG's struggles at Manchester Utd and he offers his four signings for next season...

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