Pochettino has faith in Lambert

Mauricio Pochettino has no concerns about Rickie Lambert's lack of goals and rejects talk he will sell the Southampton striker.

Last Updated: 26/09/13 at 17:15 Post Comment   

Rickie Lambert: Backing from Mauricio Pochettino

Rickie Lambert: Backing from Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has no concerns about Rickie Lambert's lack of goals and laughed off speculation he would sell the Southampton striker.

It has been quite a few weeks for the 31-year-old striker, not only getting in the England squad for the first time but also scoring in his first two matches.

Lambert continued his remarkable rise by leading the line for Roy Hodgson's side in Ukraine, where they held out for what could prove to be an invaluable draw as they search for World Cup qualification.

However, the striker has been unable to match his England heroics with Saints so far this season.

A penalty on the opening day is all the normally free-scoring striker has managed in six Premier League starts, but manager Pochettino is not concerned.

"We are very happy and pleased with how he's playing, very happy with his contributions to the team and I have no doubts the goals will start coming from him as well," the Argentinian said.

"In addition to that, there is a new situation Rickie Lambert is going through - he's 31 years old and only now in the international side and there is a lot of expectation placed on him.

"It's something he has to adapt to that new situation he is going through, but we are very relaxed about his contribution and performances.

"I think he needs time to adapt to his new situation especially being 31 years old.

"I think it places a lot of physical and mental stress on him to be all of a sudden this big name in the international side.

"He needs to be able to withstand and adapt to that mental pressure and that physical pressure that he is facing at the moment.

"And also considering the fact he is a new dad and moved house as well - many things."

That confidence in his ability was epitomised by Pochettino's surprise at suggestions he was considering selling the striker.

It was reported on Thursday that the Saints boss was ready to sanction the sale of the fans' favourite in January - something he rejected out of hand.

"I want to be respectful with that sort of rumours and news that happens but what can I say?" he asked.

"Through Twitter, Facebook, all sorts of media you can throw out there any kind of rumours.

"He's been in the starting line-up in every game so I don't understand these kind of rumours and I don't want to understand them. I thought this only happened in Spain."

Lambert looks likely to start again for Southampton as they welcome Crystal Palace to St Mary's on Saturday, when Pochettino will look to shackle former team-mate Marouane Chamakh.

"I cannot be objective about Chamakh because I have known him since he was young and I was part of Bordeaux when he made his debut," he said.

"He's a really important player for them and a very good player for him.

"I have known him for a very long time and the threat he poses but in the Premier League there are no easy rivals, they are all tough rivals, and we need to be ready for the game."


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