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Newcastle boss Pardew: Southampton's Lambert always had talent

Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew is delighted for Southampton striker Ricki Lambert.

Lambert struck on his England debut last week and also hit the winner yesterday against West Bromwich Albion.

Pardew took Lambert to Southampton from Bristol Rovers in a £1million deal four years ago. And he gave the Scouser a pep talk in his early days at St Mary's to help him make the most of his ability.

Pardew said: "I couldn't be more delighted for him because he was a joy to work with. He said he had THAT talk from me but I never doubted his talent.

"I have had Darren Bent, Jermain Defoe, Teddy Sheringham, Andy Carroll, Dean Ashton, who was probably the best of the lot, and Rickie, so there are a lot of England strikers who have worked with me.

"Trust me, Rickie fits very comfortably into the category. I'm glad this has been recognised and he is fulfilling his potential. The owner of Southampton did wonder why I was paying £1m for a 28-year-old at Bristol Rovers but it has worked out well.

"Rickie is the sort of person who looks after his friends and family. I like that. He's a real, proper Englishman. That's why he likes a pie and a pint.''

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