Southampton striker Rickie Lambert reacts to surprise England call-up
Rickie Lambert is the surprise name in Roy Hodgson’s latest England squad.
The Southampton striker has been called up for next week’s friendly against Scotland at Wembley.
His call-up came o the same day his wife gave birth to their third child.
Lambert said: “It’s been a special day and I’m trying to absorb what’s happened.
“It’s hard to describe how I’m feeling, if I’m being honest. Today has been a bit of a blur because there are a few things that have happened in my life and I’m trying to take them in.
“I was obviously already over the moon about the birth of my daughter – she was born at half-past-four this morning, and she’s doing fine and so is the mother.
“And I’m absolutely delighted to be involved with England. It’s the dream I’ve been fighting for and hoping for all my life.
“I don’t think I’ll be forgetting this any time soon.”
The 31-year-old scored 15 goals last season, which was his first in the Premier League.
Explaining the call-up, Hodgson said: “I think if a man has really worked as hard over the years to prove his worth as Rickie Lambert, I think he really deserves this call-up, at a time of course when a couple of players who might have got a nod in front of him – Daniel Sturridge and Andy Carroll – are unavailable.”
Wayne Rooney is included in the squad despite apparently being unfit to feature in Manchester United’s pre-season games.
A United player who has benefited from a good pre-season is Wilfried Zaha, and he’s also included in the squad.
The full squad is:
Goalkeepers: Ben Foster, Joe Hart, John Ruddy
Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker
Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Jack Wilshere, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Ashley Young, Wilfried Zaha,
Strikers: Jermain Defoe, Rickie Lambert, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck