England coach Roy Hodgson admits he turned down the chance to sign Southampton striker Ricki Lambert while in charge of Fulham.

Hodgson called up Lambert to his England squad yesterday.

He recalled: "I'd just gone to Fulham and we played them in the FA Cup - and lost on penalties. Lambert played, and did very well.

"Lennie Lawrence was helping [Rovers' then-manager] Paul Trollope and I said to him, 'Lambert looks interesting'.

"Lennie said, 'He's been all through the non-League. He is a good player but already 27, 28.'

"Like I am certain many other managers, we looked at it and thought, 'Division One? Is he going to be able to step up?' and we didn't take the chance - but other clubs did.

"Every club who has taken a chance on him has been rewarded."

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