Southampton striker Rickie Lambert is ready to fight for his England place
Ukraine 0-0 England
FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifier
Tuesday 10 September 2013
Olympic Stadium, Kiev
Striker Rickie Lambert knows he has a fight on his hands to keep his place in the England squad.
Lambert had enjoyed a fairytale start to his international career, scoring in his opening two games against Scotland and Moldova, but he was unable to add to that total as England drew 0-0 in Ukraine.
Manager Roy Hodgson says Lambert is a serious contender for his World Cup squad - providing England qualify - but the 31-year-old will face increasing competition for a place in the Three Lions squad.
With Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge expected to return from their respective injuries and Danny Welbeck back from suspension, competition for places will be fierce.
Lambert is hoping that by maintaining his club form for Southampton he will be in contention for the crunch game against Montenegro on 11 October and the Poland game four days later.
"I understand that there will be more competition," Lambert said.
"I understood that the chances of me playing in Ukraine if everyone was available were very slim anyway.
"But we want Wayne, Daniel and Andy Carroll in here as well.
"They are great players. All I can try to do is give them another option, trying to impress and hopefully I can do that.
"It has been an exciting few weeks for me and I hope it is going to continue."
After enjoying a lot of freedom in his first two outings for England, Lambert was often an isolated figure up front on Tuesday as chances proved few and far between. But, despite the goalless scoreline, England are one point clear at the top of Group H with two matches left, and there are no complaints from Lambert.
He said: "It was a very good away performance in a very hostile atmosphere against a good team so we are happy with a point."
"We limited them to one shot so that's credit to the boys.
"We defended superbly. We didn't want to concede and it worked perfectly so we are really happy."
The experience of playing in front of 70,000 fans was also a new one for Lambert, who added: "I have played in the Premier League, but I have never witnessed anything like that.
"The atmosphere was very intense. I really, really enjoyed it."
England need victories against Montenegro and Poland to guarantee their passage to Brazil 2014.
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