Football

Desperate for trophies

Liverpool's new striker Rickie Lambert tells the club's website he's excited about the winning atmosphere at Anfield

You've joined a team who finished second last season. What's your assessment so far?

Rickie Lambert: I knew they were a top squad before I joined.

I played against the Reds a few times in the last couple of years, so I know how good they are. To train with them every day has gone to another level; it's full credit to the manager.

During the training sessions, he gets the full potential out of each and every player, especially the younger ones, and they thrive on it.

You can see with the young lads coming through: Philly (Coutinho), Lazar (Markovic), it's exciting. It's brilliant to be around, the manager's brought in a few new signings as well, whom I think will push us on again this season.

What sort of welcome have you been given by your new teammates and the staff?

Lambert: I can't praise them enough. It's not just players, but the staff, management, the coaches and the people behind the scenes who've helped my family settle as quickly as possible. I owe a massive "Thank you" to everyone involved.

I knew Liverpool are a great club, but getting to know the little details and the people behind the scenes has been a pleasure. Everyone's lovely.

It's been a hectic time for you with the World Cup, moving to Liverpool, travelling to the US. How intense has it been? 
Lambert: Yeah, I know. I couldn't wait to get back from the tour and get into a routine and basically getting back to Premier League football.

I absolutely loved the US, I had an experience in Brazil which I enjoyed, but I couldn't wait to play the next season of the Premier League again. That's what every player wants to do.

It's getting back into a routine with weekly games. I can't wait.

Tell us where you were and how you reacted when you found out it would be Southampton at Anfield for the season opener.

Lambert: I think I was in the house waiting for the fixtures to come through. I heard it and just laughed really, I couldn't believe it.

I said before "it's gonna be Southampton". I thought it was gonna be at St Mary's, but it's at Anfield. It was inevitable.

Have you had many requests for tickets for that match?

Lambert: (laughs) No, obviously I'll have to get them in as quickly as possible because I don't want to be sorting out 100 tickets every game!

Obviously, I've got to sort out my family first and foremost.

You've spoken about how much you've enjoyed your five years at St Mary's, presumably there will be no room for sentiment when you're on that pitch with the Liverpool shirt on.

Lambert: No, it's gonna be special. Obviously I'm going to have my head screwed on. I know that's what it's all been leading to - getting the three points against Southampton, and that's all I'll be thinking about.

Champions League football is returning to Anfield. What is it like to test yourself at that level?

Lambert: It's what every player wants, it's something I thought I may never have in my career, but I've got a chance, so I'm going to grab it with both hands.

We're getting fit and sharp for the Premier League.

When Champions League comes round, it will be special at Liverpool.

Liverpool won their fifth European Cup in 2005. What are your memories of that match?

Lambert: I remember trying to persuade my friend not to go home at half-time, that took a good 10 minutes!

But, in the end, I succeeded. He stayed and we had a good time.

We were on holiday at the time. I managed to go to all the home games, but I didn't manage to go to the final, which I was gutted about. But we still had a good night watching it at home.

What do you think Liverpool can achieve this season?

Lambert: I can see the confidence in everyone around the club and now that they can go on and win something.

We'll be looking for the Premier League, first and foremost, and improve on last season.

We want to win a cup too, we're desperate for silverware. I think we're mentally strong enough to do it.

What are your personal targets this season?

Lambert: Try and be as fit as I can for each game and be available, that's what I've always done for the last few years.

I'm not gonna set myself any targets and I wouldn't set them publicly anyway.

Just trying to be as fit as I can, giving the manager another option.

When I get my chance, I'll give it my all. When a goal comes, I will go on a scoring run, I'm confident in my ability. I can't wait for the Southampton game.

After last season's great run, there's a real sense of anticipation with the fans. How much are you looking forward to what lies ahead?

Lambert: I can't wait. I've got a two-year contract at Liverpool, I'm just going to enjoy every minute.

I've got a job to do, I'm looking forward to doing my part.

I don't want to look too far ahead, to be honest, it's all about the Southampton game. I'm fit now and I'm going to get fitter.

* Rickie Lambert was talking at LFC Member's Family Day where members were able to see the first team train. To become an official LFC member, visit www.liverpoolfc.com/membership.