Brendan Rodgers praises Rickie Lambert after Liverpool start

The former Southampton striker was afforded a rare start in the 2-1 win over QPR yesterday.

Following the departure of Luis Suarez last summer, Liverpool have struggled to score the goals needed to fire them into top-four contention this season.

The signings of Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli have been widely chastised in the media, with the attacking pair struggling to find their best form at their new employers.

Lambert moved to the Anfield club from Southampton, with the switch special for the England international due to him supporting the Reds as a child.

However, the veteran’s time on Merseyside has largely been forgettable, with Lambert having to make do with a fringe role at the club.

The burly number nine was afforded a rare start in the Reds’ 2-1 victory over QPR yesterday, with Lambert playing a role in Liverpool’s win.

Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for the attacker in the aftermath of the game and admitted that Lambert’s presence gave the Reds an advantage.

"I thought he was excellent," the Northern Irishman told the club’s official website.

"He had a good run and made an excellent pass to set up young Coutinho for the first goal.

"We needed that physicality at the top of the field to hold the ball up for us today and I thought he competed very well with the two centre-halves, who were very strong. I thought he did very, very well."

Lambert’s future at the club is unclear, with Rodgers recently admitting that Liverpool would look to add firepower to their attacking options this summer.

Daniel Sturridge is currently on the sidelines through injury, meaning that Lambert has a chance to stake a claim to stay at the Reds next season.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch