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England boss delighted Lambert's hard work finally paid off

England boss Roy Hodgson has handed Southampton striker Rickie Lambert his maiden call-up and says it is thoroughly deserved for the 31-year-old. "I think that this is a man that has come up the hard way, he has ploughed a very, very difficult furrow," said the Three Lions boss.

"He started in non-league and I first came across him at Bristol Rovers when I was at Fulham and he played very well against them and I even remember discussing him as a potential transfer.

"But then the question is how can a guy in League One become a success in the Championship and then the next question is can he play in the Premiership and he scores 15 goals, so I think if any man has really worked hard to prove his worth over the years it is Rickie Lambert, and he fully deserves his call-up and at a time of course when a couple of people ahead of him in Daniel Sturridge and Andy Carroll are not available."

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Dave Williams

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