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Lambert's reaction pleases Poch
The England striker started last week’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United amongst the subs for the first time since Pochettino took charge and was introduced to the action ten minutes into the second half.
Pochettino played down the significance of his team selection, insisting: “My decisions are just decisions, they are not big or small. Just decisions.”
However, he did reveal how positive Lambert had been in the past week.
“He had an amazing, great reaction,” said Pochettino.
“He’s a great guy, a great bloke and he understands that different situations require different decisions to be made.
“He’s responded professionally and very well.
“It’s always the case that all players want to play and when one doesn’t play and another plays the player that doesn’t play feels maybe a little bit disappointed. But at the end the manager has to make decisions as to how they want to play in certain games and that’s what happened with him last week.”
Dani Osvaldo got the nod in the lone striker role last weekend, but Lambert is hoping for a recall for tomorrow’s game against Fulham.
“As I have said in the past and I will say now Rickie Lambert is a very important player for this club,” said Pochettino.
“Whenever a player gets dropped to the bench on the outside the media make a big thing about it, but it’s not such a big thing – it’s just a decision that I make for the club.
“There are many factors involved in taking those decisions. There’s not an underlying reason or cause behind it.
“The reason I made a joke about a big or small decision is that I have maximum respect for players, whether they are 30-years-old or 18-years-old, and that’s why there are many different factors in making those decisions.”
Lambert’s chances of regaining his place in the team could be boosted by an injury worry over Steven Davis.
If the Northern Ireland captain fails to make it, Pochettino may switch Osvaldo into the midfield three again and recall Lambert.
“Steven Davis has a slight problem,” reported Pochettino.
“We still need to evaluate how he will be feeling.
“He will be looked at by the medical services and we will see if he can play on Saturday.”
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