Southampton spirit the key this season - Rickie Lambert

Rickie Lambert
Lambert was Saints top-scorer last season with 21 goals

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert says team spirit will be key to progressing in the Championship this season.

Saints won automatic promotion from League One in May and Lambert told BBC Radio Solent: "We've got the spirit and togetherness to drive on this season.

"It will be harder as there are better teams, but it will suit us more as we haven't got the added pressure of having to win every game.

"We're just another team in the Championship and we'll thrive on that."

The 29-year-old continued: "I've looked at the fixture list for this season and had a big smile on my face because every game is massive - I can't wait for the season to kick off now."

Lambert signed a new deal last week and said the decision to extend his contract was easy because he wants to end his career at St Mary's.

"It was always in my mind to sign another contract and I'm just made up to have done that now," he said.

"I'd love to finish my career here and I'm going to prove I can play at this level and play at the Premier League level too.

"That's the ambition of the club [to play in the Premier League] and the ambition for me, so I'm hoping that's what's going to happen."