Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hodgson hails Lambert's 'fairytale' England debut

The Southampton striker came off the bench on his international debut to head the deciding goal in the Three Lions' friendly victory over Scotland on Wednesday night

Roy Hodgson praised Rickie Lambert's “fairytale” England debut after the striker scored the winner with his first touch in the national side's 3-2 win over Scotland at Wembley.

Lambert rose high to net with a thumping header 20 minutes from time, just three minutes after coming on to replace Wayne Rooney.

The Three Lions boss lauded the Saints forward's impact and indicated he will at least be considered again in the future so long as his

club form continues.

“It’s satisfying but I guess it’s even more satisfying when you get a fairytale story like Rickie Lambert,” said Hodgson. “He’s been a breath of fresh air, he’s so enthusiastic and he’s crowned it with a goal.

“He won’t be struck off my list very lightly - it’s up to him to play for Southampton and continue doing what he did last year.

“There might be a bit more competition for him next time [to get in the squad] with people like [Daniel] Sturridge and [Andy] Carroll coming back from injury.”

James Morrison put Scotland ahead in the 11th minute before the sides went in level at the break following Theo Walcott’s equaliser.

The visitors once again took the lead after the re-start as Kenny Miller struck from the edge of the penalty area but England hit back to win thanks to headers from Danny Welbeck and then Lambert.

Rooney played for 67 minutes and Hodgson was pleased with his performance as speculation continues over the wantaway Manchester United striker’s future.

Hodgson added: “We all knew before the game that this was his first actual competitive game of the season. You wouldn’t expect that in normal circumstances, it wasn’t an ideal situation.

“David Moyes and the people at Manchester United have been fantastic, they welcomed the fact that he wanted to play and I wanted to play him.”