Southampton boss Alan Pardew hailed Rickie Lambert as the best player in League One after the striker's second-half hat-trick secured a 3-0 win at MK Dons.

Lambert's treble - which included a stunning 35-yard lob - took his season's tally to 30 goals.

"Rickie is a terrific player and the third goal was no surprise to me because he's tried it two or three times this year and come very close," said Pardew.

"He's a player that went unnoticed for far too long doing a great job for Bristol Rovers. We've brought him to the fore with the profile of Southampton and he has delivered.

"In my opinion he's the best player in this division in terms of his position. In my career I can't ever remember winning four out of four against the same team in a season and that's a tribute to the players and the attitude they've shown.

"We've got to win eight, nine or even 10 games to get in the play-offs but with this team it is possible, they're technically good enough."

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