Feb 2 (Reuters) - The free-scoring ways of Southampton's Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert continue to push their claims for swapping the south coast for Brazil's Copacabana beach come World Cup time.
With England manager Roy Hodgson watching on, the trio produced another sparkling attacking display, scoring a goal each in a devastating 11-minute spell to help beat Premier League strugglers Fulham 3-0 on Saturday.
Lallana got the Saints up-and-running on 64 minutes with his seventh league goal of the season as he combined with Lambert, breaking free of the Fulham defence before firing a shot past Maarten Stekelenburg.
Lambert then turned goalscorer as he latched on to Nathaniel Clyne's claim to score his 100th league goal for Southampton, before Rodriguez capped things off with an exquisite curling shot from the edge of the area.
"Obviously, we have a connection as we've played together for a while now and it's a pleasure playing with those two," Lambert told the club's website (www.saintsfc.co.uk).
"They've been on form all season and it makes my job a lot easier and I'm lucky enough to play with those two.
"It's working really well and I can't see that changing any time soon as long as we can make things for each other and play well."
The emergence of the talented trio, who have scored 24 league goals for Southampton this season, will delight England manager Hodgson, who continues to watch the fledgling internationals with interest as he decides who deserves a place on the flight to Brazil.
Lambert, 31, has been capped four times, scoring twice including a goal on his debut against Scotland which helped secure a 3-2 win, while Lallana and Rodriguez made their debuts in the 2-0 defeat by Chile at Wembley in November.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino said there was no reason why they should not make Hodgson's squad.
"If Hodgson had been there for the last three games he would have seen our strikers scoring goals against Yeovil and Arsenal as well as here," the Argentine told reporters after the Fulham victory, which kept Southampton in ninth spot on 35 points.
"There is still time until Brazil but it was very important that the three played well in order to have a chance of making the plane." (Reporting by Michael Hann; editing by Josh Reich)
- Sports & Recreation
- Rickie Lambert
- Adam Lallana
- Jay Rodriguez