Rickie Lambert’s late cameo for England on Tuesday has got the striker fired up for Saturday’s trip to Arsenal with Southampton.
Lambert sat out the Three Lions’ defeat to Chile last Friday with a glute injury, but the frontman says he’s fully recovered from the knock, which enabled him to play a late part against Germany at Wembley.
“I’m fine,” he affirmed after last night’s game. “I properly tested [the muscle] out yesterday and did all of the treatment I needed to do, and it was fine – so I’ll be OK.
“It was frustrating because I don’t normally pick up injuries, so to get one whilst playing with England was disappointing.”
Rickie replaced club teammate Adam Lallana for the final quarter of an hour or so of that narrow loss to Germany, and the striker was once again full of praise for his skipper’s endeavour.
“I thought that he was again one of the better players on the park,” Lambert said.
“He’s done well considering you couldn’t have picked two harder games for your first two, so it shows the great character he had to go and perform like that. Well done to him.
“It’s disappointing that we’ve ended [the year] on a defeat,” Rickie added. “I thought we were the better team in the game, even though they had the better chances.
“We weren’t able to work their ‘keeper as much as we would have liked, so it’s a little bit disappointing.”
Lambert briefly reacquainted himself with Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker on the night, and the frontman is looking forward to lining up against the German defender once more at the weekend.
“He’s a good player, a good defender and I already knew that from playing against him before.
“It’s going to be a tough battle, but come Saturday it’s going to be one that I’m looking forward to.
“I’m looking forward to Saturday now because we’re doing well at the minute and hopefully we can take that into the game.”
It will be first versus third at the Emirates Stadium, and Lambert remains optimistic of bringing some points back to the south coast.
“We’re going to go there confident,” he asserted. “We know it’s going to be one of hardest test to-date because Arsenal are playing well at the minute.
“It’s going to be tough, but we’re confident that we can go there and get something.”