Southampton striker Rickie Lambert set for 400th league start

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert is set to make his 400th career league start when West Ham visit on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old is in good form after scoring in the draw against Derby which kept Saints top of the Championship.

It was Lambert's 11th goal of the campaign and helped maintain Southampton's fine start to the season.

"It's a big achievement and a lot of games, I think I'm still young to have played so many games so I'm proud of that," Lambert told BBC Radio Solent.external-link

Southampton signed Lambert from Bristol Rovers for £1m in August 2009 and it is the highest level of football he has played at in his career.

"It's my first season in the Championship and I'm loving every minute of it," said Lambert.

"I think I'm at the right age to play at this level, I would liked to have played at this level a lot sooner but I'm fully enjoying it now, I'm playing and doing well."

Lambert began his career at Blackpool as a trainee and went on to play for Macclesfield, Stockport and Rochdale before joining Rovers in August 2006.

He scored 51 times for Rovers before joining Saints, where he has gone on to find the back of the net 60 times. In total the Liverpool-born striker has scored 165 times from his 399 appearances.

"I have a few great memories and I've had a brilliant career and scored some important goals in massive games and I'll remember them for the rest of my life," he added.

But Lambert believes the arrival of second-placed West Ham on Tuesday is the biggest game of his career.

"I've loved every year I've played football," he said.

"Playing for Southampton is the biggest highlight of my career and the most I have enjoyed my football.

"I played at Wembley a couple of times and I will always remember those games but this is the biggest match of my career.

"We are at home and we fully believe we can beat them. They are a Premier League standard team and I cannot wait to test myself against them."

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