Rickie Lambert felt right at home in Saturday’s win over Hull City thanks to the atmosphere generated by the crowd at St Mary’s.
Lambert admitted he was tickled by the Southampton supporters’ rendition of England songs throughout the 4-1 win over the Tigers which reverberated around the ground in homage of the international call-ups that he and his teammates received last week.
Chants of “it’s just like watching England” and “come on England” were heard each time Saints attacked, and Rickie told Saints Player that they helped everyone’s performance – as well as bringing a smile to his face.
“You couldn’t help [notice] it, it was so loud,” he highlighted. “It was great by the fans and made for a great atmosphere which didn’t half help us, like it always has done.
“It was a great game, a great performance again by the boys and everyone involved. Full credit to the fans for some of the chants they were singing as the atmosphere was top class, so a big thank you to them.”
The music to Rickie’s ears was extra sweet given that he will be joined by Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez in the forthcoming international matches, and the frontman says he’s already looking forward to introducing his club teammates to the England squad.
“I can’t wait for us to all meet up,” he grinned. “We’re setting off on Tuesday morning, the three of us together, and I can’t wait. It’s going to be special.
“He (Roy Hodgson) definitely likes to get the group together and he’s going to try and get the squad bonding a bit more, but it’s good that he’s included a few new additions as well. That’s how I got my chance and you’ve seen that now Adam and Jay have got theirs now as well.
“I’m more than confident that if they’re training and they get a chance in games then they’re both going to show what they can do.”
Saints signed off for the international break with a fourth consecutive success at home at the weekend, and Lambert felt the performance showed the level of desire within the team at present.
“You’re always worried about complacency, but we were determined not to let that sneak in,” he revealed.
“We want to improve every week and, even though we played so well last week, that’s gone and we had do it all over again. That’s where the determination came from in each and every player by the gaffer to keep on pushing, keep on improving, don’t just stand still.
“There are a lot of remarks made from a lot of people, but I don’t think we’ve been too bothered about them for the last four years and we’re certainly not going to be looking at any headlines now because what’s we’re driving for is to do well for ourselves and anyone who writes anything – it’s up to them.
“We know what we’re trying to do and we have the belief and determination to do it.”
Rickie struck his fourth goal of the season by converting a 30th-minute penalty, and he was happy to contribute to another impressive team display.
“I want to score in every game, I’ve always said that and that’s what I’m always looking to do,” he said. “It was a penalty this time, and it was an important goal.
“I’m obviously just happy that I’m helping the team and I thought that it could have been more than 3-0 at half-time because we were that good.
“Adam Lallana put in an unbelievable performance, and I thought he played really well. I think that tops everything from this season by him that I’ve seen – he was frightening.
“It was good to know that [Hodgson] was there to witness just how good he is. He made us tick, everything went for him, and he deserved his goal, but it was unbelievable the way he took it.”