Southampton legend Rickie Lambert was a busy boy at the end of last week, and he gave a cracking interview to the Daily Echo as he discussed all things Southampton.
Highly rated, albeit struggled of late, midfielder James Ward-Prowse was one of his topics and the 24-year-old is one of only two seniors to have played alongside Lambert during his spell at the club, and our former striker remembers him fondly – and he also expects him to thrive under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
The Austrian has already spoken positively of Ward-Prowse’s importance to us and challenged him to get better, and Lambert concurs with that and also expects him to continue to grow as a player in the future and develop even more of an end product, from set pieces especially.
“Prowsey is one of the best, if not the best, set-piece takers and strikers of a ball I’ve come across. It’s great to see he’s had a new lease of life and been given a green light to get forward. I’ve always said he should be scoring free-kicks to get his confidence and it’s brilliant to see he’s hitting the back of the net now. With his technique he should be scoring at least five to ten goals a season. Under the new manager you can see the enjoyment and hunger and desire is back and hopefully he can push on again.”
JWP is certainly capable of doing that and he should be driven to do exactly that now Hasenhuttl has placed more faith in him again and seems to have a more stable lineup compared to the more regular changes we saw under Mark Hughes, but the opportunity is there for him again and it’s down to the lad to make that count.
We all hope he does.