Beattie, also capped by England, is now in charge of Acrrington Stanley.
"I would put Rickie's achievements down to one thing - hunger. He wanted this so badly," Beattie told the Daily Express.
"It is not unexpected though. He has been a consistently good performer for Southampton. The acid test for him was last season, when people wondered if he would get goals in the Premier League. He answered that by getting 15.
"And so what if he plays for an unfashionable club? Roy Hodgson has been true to his word when he said, 'If you're playing well, you'll get a chance'. Rickie deserves it because he has been so focused and so diligent in achieving his goal. He didn't want to go back to the factory. Instead he's playing for England.
"It's amazing, but the hard work begins again for him now because he has to stay there."
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