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Dropped Lambert still 'key' to Saints
Lambert started Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United on the bench as Pochettino attempted to flood the midfield area at Old Trafford, with Dani Osvaldo operating as the lone front man.
However, with the score at 1-0, Pochettino did introduce Lambert early in the second period and saw his plan work out perfectly as Saints bagged a late equaliser.
He explained: “We have two very good strikers in Rickie Lambert and Osvaldo.
“The thinking was to fill the middle of the pitch with more people that could keep the possession of the ball.
“The thing is the team has fully understood and knows how it wants to play. It has accepted how we want them to play.
“We pressure high up the pitch and that’s been working out well for us.
“Today Lambert started on the bench for us but on another day he could be starting and another player could be on the bench instead of him.
“He’s a very important player for us and we fully congratulate him because he’s done very well for us.”
However, it could all mark a change for Lambert, who has previously been virtually guaranteed a starting place for Saints.
“There will be some games that he starts and other games that he doesn’t start, but overall he’s a very important player for us,” added Pochettino One player who was not involved in the squad was Gaston Ramirez, who was left in Southampton after returning from international duty.
“After the international break with Uruguay he came back to Southampton,” said Pochettino.
“He arrived ill from the international break and the medical staff at Southampton recommended he rested until Monday and that he be checked again then for his progress.”
There was some debate immediately after the game as to whether Dejan Lovren or Adam Lallana had scored the equaliser.
Lovren obviously believed he had scored the goal given his celebration but the final touch was off Lallana.
When asked about it in the immediate aftermath, Pochettino remained diplomatic.
“I saw it very briefly and I don’t know. I’m not sure,” he said.
“I will give 50 per cent to Dejan and 50 per cent to Adam.
“I didn’t have a chance after the game to see it on TV.”
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