Rickie Lambert striving to impress
LONDON -- Rickie Lambert said that he is trying to take full advantage of Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge's absence from the England set-up in order to become a key part of Roy Hodgson's team.
The Southampton striker, 31, made his full debut for England in the 4-0 World Cup qualifying win against Moldova on Friday, scoring one goal and assisting another two after netting as a substitute in the friendly win against Scotland in August.
Because of the situation with bigger-name players set to return in the future, Lambert insists that he feels pressure to make the most of his opportunity and leave an impression on Hodgson.
"I'm trying to impress and give another option and hopefully I did that [against Moldova],” he said. "I understand the situation and I've tried to take the opportunity and give a different option. I've got another chance to impress on Tuesday so that is what I will be trying to do.
"I feel like I have to impress because of my situation. I have to impress in training, I have to impress in the game and thankfully [against Moldova] I have managed to score again so hopefully that has given a different option."
Lambert is set to lead the line against Ukraine on Tuesday as Danny Welbeck's suspension added to Hodgon's selection issues.
The former Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers striker said that he is still coming to terms with being considered a starter for the full national side after working his way up from League Two to the Premier League, but he is ready to grab his chance.
"I'm overjoyed with the way it has gone," he added. "It's only my second game so I hope there is more to come but being away with them for the amount of days has really helped me.
"I'm still getting to know the lads. I've watched them on TV like everyone else but I don't really know them personally so to get to know them has been brilliant.
"It's very surreal and it is beyond my imagination what is happening at the minute but I am trying to stay cool and do what is important."