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Saints legend Paine hails Lambert's England call
Lambert was last week handed a place in the squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Scotland, where he will hope to win his first ever cap.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Paine, who was part of the England squad that won the 1966 World Cup.
“At 31 years of age it’s a remarkable achievement, especially bearing in mind where he has spent the majority of his playing days.
“I just hope he gets a run out. Even if you step on the pitch for just five minutes you’re an international.
“It will be a huge boost for him, and also for the club.
“I hope he gets a chance, and if he does I hope he does his best.”
Paine added: “He’s a lovely guy, very approachable, and I’ve had two or three good chats with him.”
Paine said that Lambert, the joint top English goalscorer in last season’s Premier League, “absolutely” deserves his place in the squad.
While his call-up has come partly as a result of other players being absent, Paine insists Lambert should be encouraged to know that he is on the radar of the England manager, Roy Hodgson.
“You have to understand that, at times, there are absentees and you have to step in and take your chance,” he said.
“That’s what’s happened. Sturridge and Carroll aren’t available.
“It’s nice to know you’re in a squad of players, whether it be a squad of 20, 30, or 35, and that you’re in the manager’s thoughts. That’s very important.”
Paine said the challenge now facing Lambert is to make it difficult for Hodgson to leave him out.
While it will be tough for him to earn a place in the party that will head to Brazil for next summer’s World Cup, should England qualify, Paine insists Lambert can force his way into the manager’s thoughts for the tournament.
“You never know in this game – never say never,” said Paine. “There are players probably ahead of him, but you don’t know what’s going to happen in a year.
“What he’s got to keep doing is keep sticking the ball in the back of the net.”
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