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Adkins rules out Lambert sale

Nigel Adkins has ruled out the sale of Southampton's star striker Rickie Lambert after Stoke were linked with a January move.

• Blog: Spurs: Fond Memories

Lambert, 30, started on the bench for Saints' 4-1 defeat at West Ham last weekend leading to speculation about his future. But Adkins insists there is no chance the club will part with a player who has already scored four Premier League goals this season.

"I am not aware of an enquiry and we wouldn't consider (selling him),'' Adkins said. "He is one of the main reasons why we have got back to the Premier League.

"We love the bones of him. He works very hard. It is my responsibility to pick the team, whether Ricky is in that team or coming off the bench to make an impact as he did against Manchester City.

"Rickie Lambert is a good football player. I'm sure anyone who sees him not in the starting XI will might wonder: 'what's happening there? We might show a bit of interest'. That's football."

Adkins also assured Southampton fans that his team are ready to bounce back after the demoralising defeat at Upton Park, claiming they enjoyed a positive week on the training pitch.

On Sunday they face a Tottenham side equally eager for the three points but for a completely different reason, after their run of nine games unbeaten was ended by defeat against Chelsea last Saturday.

"This hasn't been a difficult week at all,'' Adkins insisted. "I let a bit of negativity creep in for the first time last week, but I had to quickly dispel that.

"Training has been good. The lads have responded in the appropriate manner. At this moment a couple of defeats have come about by some goals we could have stopped. We need to address that."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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