Premier League

Maurcio Pochettino: Southampton strike pairing can play together for England

Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez: Thriving under Mauricio Pochettino's management

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Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert can play together for England in the future, according to their Southampton manager.

Mauricio Pochettino's arrival has coincided with Rodriguez's best reviews since his summer move, while Lambert has averaged just under a goal every two starts in his first season of Premier League football.

And the Saints boss insists it is not "far-fetched" to think the pair could replicate their club form at international level further down the line.

He said: "If they both play as well as they have done lately I can see that happening. Both players are really comfortable playing here and are happy with us.

"Hopefully their performances can just keep on getting better in the next few years, that would be great for Southampton.

"I think Jay Rodriguez, in the two months I have been here, has developed a lot. He has great potential and I think he has a lot more to go - his potential hasn't reached its peak yet.

"It is clear to me that his football talent and football skills make him a Premier League player.

"To be able to play in a national team and do it well you need more than two months playing well - you need to develop your game over a long period of time and if he can do that I see a future for him with England.

"From the tactical point of view, perhaps the way we are playing now is enabling him to develop his own brand of football and play even better."

Southampton go into Saturday's game against West Ham on the back of three straight wins, and victory for either side at St Mary's would take them a 40-point total Sam Allardyce believes would mean Premier League safety.

"I agree," said Pochettino. "It is a really important game. We are aware of West Ham - fitness-wise and physically they are a very strong team."