Rickie raring to go
Rickie Lambert insists he is in the best shape he has ever been in ahead of the new League One season.
Last Updated: 09/08/10 11:14am
Southampton hot-shot Rickie Lambert insists he is in the best shape he has ever been in ahead of the new League One season.
Lambert enjoyed a sensational debut season with Southampton last term scoring 37 goals in all competitions as he ended the campaign as top scorer in all four divisions of the Football League for the second season in succession.
The 28-year-old Lambert is confident of repeating the success as he looks to fire League One favourites Southampton to promotion this season after just missing out on the play-offs last term despite a ten-point penalty for going into administration.
Liverpudlian Lambert has undergone a gruelling pre-season training regime in a bid to be at his best and he believes he will reap the benefits for the 2010/11 season.
"Pre-season has gone really well. It has been really hard, it has been the hardest pre-season I have been involved with," Lambert told skysports.com.
"I pushed myself as hard as I have ever pushed myself in pre-season and I think I will really benefit from it this season.
"I am in the best shape I have been in and I am just disappointed I can't play tomorrow [against Plymouth] as I have got a slight groin strain, but I am looking forward to playing and enjoying a successful season."
The prolific forward insists he does not set himself any goalscoring targets before the season kicks off as he is only focused on Southampton doing well this term.
"I am not bothered by targets I am just trying to help the club get as high up the table as I can," added Lambert.
"I don't set myself any targets as long as the team wins is all that bothers me.
"I just want to play as well as I can in every game and be as fit as I can and hopefully that will help the team do well."
Lambert also does not feel under pressure to repeat his goalscoring heroics this season and insists his success is down to his team-mates.
"No not really I don't feel under pressure as I have my team-mates around me and without them I would not have got the goal tally I got," noted Lambert.
"If it wasn't for them I wouldn't have got anywhere near as many goals as I scored."
Southampton are the bookmakers favourites to win the League One title and Lambert insists Alan Pardew's troops are not feeling the heat at being tipped for the championship.
"I think it is other people putting pressure on us and we are not putting any pressure on ourselves," added Lambert.
"We have just got to concentrate on what we did at the end of last season and take that form into this campaign and I think if we do that we will be fine."
Lambert knows Southampton will have plenty of competition towards the top of the table and admits the Saints face a battle to achieve their aim of winning promotion from League One.
"I think Huddersfield will be up there as they have spent a few bob, they will definitely be one of the favourites along with Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth and maybe Brentford as well."
Rickie Lambert appears in EA SPORTS' FIFA 11. FIFA 11 is out October 1st on all formats. Visit www.youtube.com/easportsfootball to see the unveiling of FIFA 11's latest signing