Rickie Lambert: 'Andy Carroll return could cost me World Cup place'

Theo Walcott of England congratulates Rickie Lambert of England on scoring their second goal during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group H match between England and Moldova at Wembley Stadium on September 6, 2013
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Southampton forward Rickie Lambert believes that the return to fitness of West Ham United's Andy Carroll may reduce his chances of earning a place in England's World Cup squad.

Southampton forward Rickie Lambert has admitted that it may be difficult for him to earn a place in Roy Hodgson's England squad for this summer's World Cup.

The 31-year-old has scored two goals in three senior international appearances this year and has vowed to do all that he can to book a place on the plane to Brazil.

However, he believes that the return to fitness of West Ham United's Andy Carroll could reduce his chances of making the final cut.

"I know how hard it will be," he told The Mirror. "It is something I will be fighting for and I know I have to do well for Southampton.

"I know I need to score goals, but even that might not be enough to get me the nod. It might be a shoot-out between me and Andy Carroll.

"I'm not going to lie - I think that is one of the major possibilities. I will focus on my game and, when Andy is back from injury, he will be raring to go as well. So it's up to Roy Hodgson to make his decision."

Carroll has not featured at all this season due to a long-term foot injury, but club medics are hopeful that he could return when the Hammers host Fulham on November 30.

Leon Osman of Everton celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Everton at Villa Park on October 26, 2013
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