Lallana: Saints stars must prove worth

Jay Rodriguez

Jay Rodriguez

First published in Sport

ADAM Lallana says that Jay Rodriguez and the rest of Southampton’s England stars must prove they are worth a place in the World Cup squad in the final 10 games of the season.

Lallana set up Daniel Sturridge’s goal in England’s 1-0 friendly win over Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday, while Saints team-mate Luke Shaw came off the bench for his debut.

Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert were both unusued substitutes for the game but Lallana knows that all four players must perform well for their club if they are to make the plane to Brazil.

“If anything, I’ve got to work even harder now, as Shawy has, Jay Rod and Rickie, and we’ll see what happens at the end of the season,” Lallana said.

Southampton have 10 league games remaining this season, with England boss Roy Hodgson set to name his provisional 30-man squad on May 13 – two days after the final Premier League game of the campaign. He will then whittle that squad down to his final 23 for the World Cup in Brazil.

Burnley-born forward Rodriguez made his England debut against Chile in November but has since been an unused substitute against both Germany and Denmark.

Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck all appear to be ahead of him in the pecking order and he may also have force his way past the likes of Lambert and Jermain Defoe, who has now joined MLS side Toronto FC.

Much could depend on Rodriguez’s form in the final weeks of the season as he bids to add to his 12 goals so far this term.

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