England Manager Roy Hodgson has been impressed by hard work of Southampton striker
England v Scotland
Teenage Cancer Trust International
8pm Wednesday 14 August 2013
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Roy Hodgson says Rickie Lambert deserves his first England call-up after being named in the 25-man squad
to face Scotland
The Southampton forward bagged 15 goals in his debut Premier League campaign last season having helped fire the Saints to the top-flight a year before.
And Hodgson has been impressed by the efforts of the 31-year-old who has progressed up through the divisions.
"What really impressed me about him is that this is a man who has come up the hard way starting in non-League," said Hodgson.
"He is a man who has worked hard to prove himself over all these years and deserves his call up at a time when a couple of players like Daniel Sturridge and Andy Carroll, who might have got the nod ahead of him, are unavailable."
Merseyside-born Lambert started his career at Blackpool but was released in 2000. After spells at Macclesfield Town, Stockport County and Rochdale he arrived at Bristol Rovers in 2006.
After moving to St Mary's three years later, he's become a hit with the Southampton fans, chalking up over 100 goals in four seasons for the club.
Lambert is one of four forwards named in the squad for Wednesday's game at Wembley. Wayne Rooney has also been included despite missing Manchester United's pre-season campaign through injury.
Hodgson added: "He is not fully match fit, that's pretty obvious, but the important thing for me was to have him with us in the squad and to assess how many minutes he can play in the game.
"I've spoken to David Moyes and he understands that it is important for us to have Wayne with us and Wayne himself wants to be part of the England set-up coming into these important qualifying games.
"We just have to accept that it's not ideal that he hasn't played the minutes we would have liked in pre-season, but it's very good he is able to join us and be available to play the minutes we think he can play."
The England Squad in full
Ben Foster, Joe Hart, John Ruddy
Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker
Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Jack Wilshere
James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Ashley Young, Wilfried Zaha,
Jermain Defoe, Rickie Lambert, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck
There are still limited tickets available for England v Scotland at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday 14 August for fans who have purchased tickets for previous Three Lions matches. Buy online here: www.TheFA.com/Tickets