Lambert given Saints reassurance

22 August 2013 05:46

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has moved to reassure England's latest hero Rickie Lambert that he remains in his plans despite the club-record signing of Pablo Daniel Osvaldo.

The 31-year-old Lambert scored the winner on his international bow against Scotland earlier this month and also struck the only goal of the game in Saints' Barclays Premier League opener at West Brom.

Despite Lambert's fine start to the campaign and his 15 goals in all competitions for Southampton last season, Pochettino decided to invest a reported £12.8million fee to bring Osvaldo to the south coast from Roma.

In his current system the Argentinian has room for only one out-and-out striker but he has backed the pair to work together well and believes the signing of Osvaldo could spur Lambert in to getting even better.

"I don't think they are that similar," Pochettino said of the style of his two frontmen.

"I think they could find it very easy to play together. But we will be gauging that as the season unfolds, the Premier League is a tough competition and there are also two cup competitions.

"You also have to think that all great players know how to get along on the pitch and know how to play well together, regardless of the characteristics that they have.

"Rickie has shown time and time again that he is a very intellectual footballer and that he welcomes the competition. He welcomes the fact that Osvaldo is here because it will make him raise his game."

Pochettino, who managed Italy international Osvaldo when the two were at Espanyol, reckons the 27-year-old has developed in recent years, both on and off the pitch.

He was suspended and fined by Roma in 2011 for punching team-mate Erik Lamela during a defeat in Serie A but Pochettino feels he has now moved on from such incidents.

Source: PA