England boss Hodgson plays down expectations around Lambert

England manager Roy Hodgson has attempted to dampen down expectations around Rickie Lambert, the Daily Mirror has reported, after the Southampton striker scored his second goal in as many games for the national team.

Lambert will win his third cap against Ukraine on Tuesday after Hodgson confirmed the only change to the side that beat Macedonia 4-0 on Friday will be the absence of Danny Welbeck through suspension. But after Lambert’s rise to international football – having started his career down the English football pyramid – Hodgson was stressed the need not to expect too much from the 31-year-old.

I think the one thing you have to say about Rickie is that he must have a very strong mentality,” Hodgson said. “To suffer that many knock backs with people watching him but passing him over – myself included – yet still come through is fantastic.

But I would like to if anything play down Rickie Lambert for his own sake because it is almost fairy-tale like that you get selected at 31 having played in the lower leagues and you come on and score a fantastic centre-forward’s goal against Scotland,” Hodgson continued.

He added: “Then on top of that you play a full game, an important one at that, and you score one and set up two and you look as though you have never been outside an England set up in your life that is some achievement.

I am bit worried we are going to hang a bit too much on him. The important thing for me is that he is going to play his part in the team and make certain he doesn’t let us down in anyway in terms of what we expect him to do.

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