Matt Le Tissier tips Rickie Lambert for England World Cup squad

Lambert success phenomenal - Le Tissier

Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier has backed Rickie Lambert to be in England's World Cup squad, if they qualify for Brazil 2014.

Rickie Lambert
Lambert has scored two goals in three England games

England need to beat Montenegro and Poland to guarantee a place at next summer's finals.

Striker Lambert, 31, has scored twice in his first three internationals.

"If he has a goalscoring season like last year I see no reason why he can't get himself a ticket on that plane to Brazil," Le Tissier told BBC Sport.

Lambert earned his first international call up in August after scoring 15 goals in his debut season in the Premier League.

The former Blackpool, Macclesfield, Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers man then made his England debut against Scotland, scoring with his first touch.

"What Rickie has done has been phenomenal," added Le Tissier, 44, who scored 212 goals in 543 appearance for Saints.

"Not too many players have made their international debut past 30, especially considering the path he has taken. But he is a hero at Southampton and has enough quality to be able to make a difference at international level.

"Lambert has put himself in Hodgson's thoughts. I don't think we're overly blessed with attacking options in England at the moment."

As well as Lambert's achievement, Le Tissier, who on Wednesday was inducted into the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame, has been impressed with his old club as a whole - and backed them for a top-half finish this season.

He says English football would be a lot stronger if other clubs followed Southampton's philosophy of trying to integrate players from the academy into the first team.

But he added: "Sadly, I don't think that's ever going to happen.

"There is too much money around, teams have the money to buy ready-made foreign footballers and managers don't often get given the time they need to build and take a chance on bringing the young players through.

"The plan long-term [at Southampton] is to get at least half the team as products of the youth system. It's a great way to plan."

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