Wednesday 13 December 2017

England striker Rickie Lambert: Sanchez comments will fire us up

Rickie Lambert thinks Alexis Sanchez has already done Roy Hodgson's team-talk for him
Rickie Lambert thinks Alexis Sanchez has already done Roy Hodgson's team-talk for him

Paul Hirst, Press Association Sport

Rickie Lambert thinks Chile striker Alexis Sanchez has done England's team-talk for them by branding Roy Hodgson's squad "soft".

Sanchez, who plays for Barcelona, is the biggest star in Chilean football, but he comes from a poverty-stricken background.

He suggested in an interview with the Daily Express that England players, on the other hand, are "soft" because of their pampered lifestyles.

Speaking ahead of Chile's visit to Wembley on Friday, Sanchez said: "I learned to be tough, and you can only learn that if you grow up in the environment (I grew up in).

"England or other European teams they did not grow up in an environment like that, but having everything so easy made them soft."

England striker Lambert welcomed the barb.

He said: "You can't really buy motivation like that to be honest.

"It is his opinion, and we will take it on board and we will be looking forward to the game on Friday."

Lambert is one of three Southampton players in Hodgson's squad for Friday's game against Chile and the clash with Germany at Wembley four days later.

Uncapped duo Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez were also called-up for the double-header, and Lambert is delighted to see so many familiar faces within the international set-up.

"It is brilliant," said Lambert, who earned his first call-up in August at the age of 31.

"It is nice to have two boys from the team I play with week in, week out. It is strange showing other people around and showing them where to go. It has been nice.

"They deserve to be there. The way they have performed last season and especially this season, they have both been absolutely superb.

"All the English lads in the Southampton team have done well. Especially Adam and Jay. It is rightly deserved."

Irish Independent

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