Rickie Lambert confident Liverpool goals will come

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Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert has asserted fans that both he and team-mate Mario Balotelli will soon find their scoring boots on Merseyside, after a slow start to the season for the pair.

The 32-year-old joined Anfield from Southampton for £4 but has yet to scored for his new club in eight appearances. Likewise, Balotelli has struck just once in eleven games, coming back in September when his goal helped Liverpool beat Ludogorets Razgrad in the Champions League.

However, Lambert is confident that both he and his Italian strike-partner can become a deadly partnership upfront and that it is just a matter of times before goals start going in.

"I think I can forge a partnership with any of the strikers here," the Kirkby native said.

"Sometimes it works better with two strikers, sometimes it doesn't.

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"I've come on this season on plenty of occasions either as a one or a two depending on the opposition.

"On Saturday it put more pressure on and we created more chances and it turned out to be a good formation.

"Obviously you want to hit the ground running and you want to score. The longer it goes on, sometimes the harder it is. It depends how you are mentally. Sometimes it's hard to stay calm but I'm confident it will come.

"Mario is a good striker and we are all behind him. I thought he did well, held the ball up and did all the things he was asked to. He was unlucky with a couple of chances. 

"Like myself, Mario just needs a goal - that is exactly what a striker needs. If it goes in off your backside it doesn't really matter. Then the confidence flows."

Encouraging performance

Lambert came off the bench during Saturday's 0-0 draw with Hull City and put in a rock solid performance. He looked to be playing with real energy, working hard for his team to work the ball and win it back when not in possession.

Both he and Balotelli formed a superb partnership for the thirty minutes they played upfront together and gave Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers a serious option for the future. Lambert coming on meant that the Hull defence of three had another threat to worry about, which freed up space Balotelli and saw him get into the game much more.

Multiple times, Lambert dropped into the number 10 role to receive the ball deep and then link up with the Italian. The England international also combined with his team-mates very impressively, creating chances for both Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling because of his excellent hold up play.

Chance to shine

The former Stockport County man will look to continue his good form against Swansea City in tonight's Capital One Cup clash and he knows that putting a good shift in is vital if he is to gain more pitch time at Anfield.

“If I’m playing, it is a chance to impress. It’s a chance to shine and get on the scoresheet,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to the game. I can forge a partnership with any of the strikers here.

“There are four strikers here fighting for a place to start. It doesn’t matter who plays, it is what is best for the team. Mario is a good striker and we are all behind him. It’s now to Tuesday and looking to get that win.”

Positive signs

Despite Lambert not yet scoring for his new club, he has been giving Reds fans all the right signs.

When he comes of the bench, Lambert always gives his all, chasing around the ball when his side are not in possession and always offering himself when Liverpool are on the attack.

Against Manchester City in August, Lambert came off the bench when the Merseyside club were 3-0 down at the Ethihad. However, his presence saw a much more positive Liverpool and he was part build up for Liverpool's only goal of the game - his header was superbly saved by Joe Hart, but the stop rebounded off Pablo Zabaleta to cross the goal-line.

Against West Bromwich Albion a couple of weeks ago, Lambert lead the Liverpool line, starting ahead of Balotelli. It was a solid performance from him and missed a couple of good chances that could have went in.

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Rickie Lambert
Premier League
Mario Balotelli

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