Hodgson eases pressure on Lambert
Published : 10 Sep 2013 09:16:54Rss feed
England boss Roy Hodgson is keen not to pin all his World Cup hopes on Rickie Lambert's fairytale international career continuing.
With Danny Welbeck suspended and Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Andy Carroll all ruled out by injury, Lambert will be pitched into the biggest game of his career on Tuesday night as England take on Ukraine in Kiev.
Whilst victory would take Hodgson's side to within touching distance of an automatic slot in next year's finals, defeat would hand the initiative to their hosts, who still have another match against San Marino to play.
Hodgson could not wish for Lambert to be in more confident mood after becoming the first England player to score in his first two games since Peter Taylor 37 years ago.
But he also knows the run cannot last forever.
"I would like to play down Rickie for his own sake because it is almost a fairytale that you get selected at 31 having played in the lower leagues, then come on in your debut and score a fantastic centre-forward's goal," Hodgson said.
"On top of that you then play an important game, score one, set up two and look as though you have never been outside an England set-up in your life.
"That is some achievement.
"I am bit worried we are going to hang a bit too much on him (tonight).
"The important thing is that he plays his part in the team and makes certain he doesn't let us down in any way.
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