• World Cup

Lambert backs himself from the spot

ESPN staff
May 24, 2014
Rickie Lambert has never missed a penalty for Southampton © Getty Images

Rickie Lambert insists he would have no hesitation in taking a spot-kick for England at the World Cup if they end up in a penalty shootout in Brazil.

England have been beaten on penalties in six of the last 10 major tournaments, losing to Italy in the quarter-finals at Euro 2012 in their last competition.

Lambert has scored all 34 penalties he has taken for Southampton and has not missed from 12 yards in five years. With a perfect record for his club, Lambert has backed himself to convert his kick if England face another penalty shootout.

"I would take one, of course I would. I am confident in my ability," he said.

"If the chance comes up I am confident I would score. I have my own technique and sometimes my technique wouldn't be beneficial to someone else. Penalty taking is about mentality. I have a certain way of approaching it and it has worked well for me."

England manager Roy Hodgson selected Lambert following two successful seasons with Southampton where he scored 29 goals.

The 32-year-old believes he deserves to be heading to the World Cup, but is determined to be more than just a substitute for England.

"I would like to think I am here on merit. I think I have proved over two years that I am good enough," he said. "A lot has been written but I think I have proved my worth.

"It is dangerous if you go there with the mentality you are just going to be on the bench. You definitely don't want to be thinking your role is just coming on."

When asked what he was doing four years ago the last time the World Cup was staged, Lambert replied: "I was watching the last World Cup on TV in the New Forest. If someone had told me then I would be at the next World Cup I would have laughed at them."

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