Rickie Lambert demonstrates why attitude has taken him to Liverpool

Rickie Lambert's return to pre-season for Liverpool is a perfect indication of how the striker's attitude has taken him to the top of the English game.

The stories of Rickie Lambert's career struggles are now infamous after the forward's meteoric rise from an employee at a beetroot factory to England international were retold verbatim on his maiden appearance for the Three Lions in 2013.

The Liverpudlian, who has previously turned out for the likes of Macclesfield Town, Stockport County and Rochdale, realised a dream come to fruition when he signed for his boyhood club earlier this summer - shortly before he jetted off for the World Cup.

Lambert, who joined from Southampton for around £4 million, isn't resting on his laurels though, and he revealed to Liverpool's official website just how eager he was to begin his career at Anfield.

He said: "Probably for the first time in my career I've been looking forward to pre-season - and it's not bad for a 32-year-old to be saying that! I was itching to get back, be with the lads and play football. It's good. It's my second day and I'm enjoying it. It's hard, but I'm feeling good.

"This [early start] is what I have to do now; it's no longer a choice for me, really. I know my body and know what I've got to do, to get into the same shape as everybody else and it tends to be that I need to do a little bit more.

"It was always my intention to come back earlier, whether I was at Southampton or Liverpool - but obviously I am desperate to hit the ground running and do well for Liverpool.

"I thought it was massively important I come back early, and make sure I'm in the best shape possible for when the season kicks off, because that's what all this is for."

In the same week that saw his England colleague Jack Wilshere snapped enjoying cigarettes at a pool party in Las Vegas, Lambert's attitude and approach to his work are admirable.

Of course, even top-level footballers deserve time off, but the hunger and determination of the 32-year-old is commendable, and it offers a real insight into why the striker has finally found his home at the top of the English game.

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