Lambert willing to scrap
Saints striker prepared to battle for starting spot
Last Updated: August 20, 2012 8:03pm
Rickie Lambert: Netted on his Premier League bow against Manchester City
Rickie Lambert admits to being disappointed at missing out on a spot in Southampton's opening starting XI, but has vowed to battle for his place.
A prolific marksman in the Football League over the years, the experienced striker finally has his chance to show what he can do at the very highest level.
He announced his arrival in the Premier League with a goal during a 3-2 defeat to reigning champions Manchester City on Sunday, but made his impact off the bench.
Nigel Adkins turned to the 30-year-old when the Saints were trailing and, having helped to edge Southampton in front at one stage, Lambert hopes he has done his claims to a starting berth no harm.
Lambert said: "I was disappointed not to start.
"I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't, but there's no sulking between the lads it's just a case of being ready for when you get your chance and that's what I've done.
"I was on the bench and I was just desperate to get my chance."
He added: "Everyone is fighting for the 11 places and the ones who are not in there are fighting to get onto the pitch."
Lambert said of his landmark goal: "It means so much.
"You could see how much it meant when I scored because I've been waiting for that moment for a long time now.
"Obviously in the past, I've scored goals at lower level but I was made up to get my first goal here already."
Lambert took heart from Sunday's result as Southampton bid to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.
"I thought we looked okay," he said.
"We managed to score two goals, and took the lead, so we're proud of the way that we played.
"We know we've got a hard start this season but we've come here to do well, we've not just come here to survive, and I think we showed that."