Hodgson hails 'fairytale' winner

15 August 2013 08:17

Roy Hodgson saluted a "fairytale" debut by Southampton striker Rickie Lambert who scored with his first touch in international football as England defeated Scotland 3-2 in a pulsating friendly at Wembley.

The England manager saw Lambert score the winner with a bullet header, less than three minutes after coming off the bench in the second half to replace Wayne Rooney.

Hodgson admitted he did have a few concerns over England's defending as they conceded goals from James Morrison and Kenny Miller.

But he preferred to concentrate on the positives in a friendly played in front of a passionate crowd of 80,485.

Hodgson admitted 31-year-old Lambert could have played himself into his World Cup qualifying squad with his spectacular 25-minute cameo at Wembley.

"It's satisfying that it was won by a fairytale goal from Rickie Lambert," said Hodgson. "He's been a breath of fresh air while with us, so happy to be part of the squad. What a wonderful story that he crowned it with the winning goal.

"He could have gone away with the match ball, with his shot against the post and another that had to be palmed away. But maybe he has to be happy with one goal and he'll save a few others for a later date."

Asked whether it would be tough to leave him put of the squad for the matches against Moldova and Ukraine next month, Hodgson added: "I guess so. Obviously there might be a bit more competition next time.

"Daniel Sturridge is hopefully back playing after 45 minutes behind closed doors today. Andy Carroll is not far from fitness. We'll see in the next three weeks, but he won't be being struck off my list very lightly. It's up to him to go out for Southampton and do what he did last year with his goals and assists."

England were stunned when Morrison gave the Scots an early lead but Theo Walcott equalised before half-time. Scotland, however, came back to go ahead with a sparkling strike from Miller before headers from Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck and Lambert sealed the triumph.

Source: PA