Rickie Lambert's World Cup shoot-out with Andy Carroll

Friday 18 Apr 2014
Lamber celebrates a goal for England in World Cup qualifying
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Rickie Lambert believes he faces a four game shoot-out with West Ham's Andy Carroll in order to secure a spot in England's World Cup squad.

The Southampton hitman is desperate to get on the plane to Brazil with the Three Lions, but knows Carroll will also be targeting a place in the squad.

And with four games of the Premier League season left to play, Lambert thinks England boss Roy Hodgson will be keeping a close eye on how the pair perform over the rest of the season.

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert speaks about his unforgettable day

Lambert is aiming for a strong finish to the season with Southampton

 

"It's four games to try and impress; it's four games to try and score goals," said Lambert, who admits Carroll is "probably" his direct rival for World Cup selection.

"I think we've had either Ray [Lewington] or Roy watching our games for the last ten games, so we know we are getting watched and that's brilliant for them to be watching Southampton.

"I try not to focus on it, if I'm being honest. I try to play my own game, I think that's the best way to go about it.

"You can't think too much about it, because it might affect your game.

"You've just got to get on with it, try and do well for Southampton and hopefully Roy or Ray are impressed, that's it really."

One man who won’t be joining Lambert or Carroll for the World Cup is his St. Mary’s team-mate Jay Rodriguez, whose recent knee injury has ruled him out for the summer.

Jay Rodriguez on his England debut against Chile.

Rodriguez's injury has ruled him out of the World Cup

 

And the Saints captain was quick to pay tribute to the former Burnley forward who had fired his way into World Cup contention with his goals this season.

"Jay's definitely not forgotten by the Southampton lads," revealed Lambert.

"We see him every day, it's obviously a hard thing to accept mentally what happened, it's going to be hard, but he will be back, he'll be back next season and he'll be back stronger mentally.

"He'll be back scoring goals, so that's all he's focused on and we don't treat him any differently.

"The timing of it is the cruel thing, but you've just got to get on with it, but, like I said, he'll be back next year stronger."

By Nicholas Veevers