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The Three Lions boss has urged England supporters to not put too much pressure on the Southampton striker following his instant success at international level.

England manager Roy Hodgson has tried to pay down Rickie Lambert's "fairytale" international rise ahead of Tuesday's crucial qualifier against Ukraine.

The Southampton striker will most likely lead the Three Lions' attack with Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck all unavailable.

The 31-year-old scored in both of his England appearances so far and while Hodgson believes the veteran striker can deliver again in Kiev, he has urged supporters against piling pressure on Lambert.

"I think the one thing you have to say about Rickie is that he must have a very strong mentality," Hodgson told reporters. "To suffer that many knock backs with people watching him but passing him over - myself included - yet still come through is fantastic.

"But I would like to if anything play down Rickie Lambert for his own sake because it is almost fairytale like that you get selected at 31 having played in the lower leagues and you come on and score a fantastic center-forward's goal against Scotland."

The manager went on to praise the overall quality of Lambert's performances.

"His movement and the header - it doesn't get better than that. Then on top of that you play a full game, an important one at that, and you score one and set up two and you look as though you have never been outside an England set up in your life that is some achievement.

"Tomorrow night I am bit worried we are going to hang a bit too much on him, the important thing for me is that he is going to play his part in the team and make certain he doesn't let us down in anyway in terms of what we expect him to do."

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