Rickie Lambert admits he is still working his way to full fitness

Rickie Lambert

West Brom striker Lambert is still not at full match fitness.

Lambert arrived at West Brom over the summer, signing from Liverpool, and he has told the Express and Star that he is still trying to get himself as fit as possible.

Lambert said: “I know there’s more to this role under Tony Pulis than just scoring goals. You get asked to do a lot more defensively than I’ve had to in the past, but it’s something you have to get used to and I’m trying to get as fit as I can.”

The 33-year-old has yet to score a goal for the Baggies since his summer arrival, netting twice in his first pre-season game, but looking off the pace every time he has taken to the field in a competitive fixture.

And his admission that he is still working his way to fitness says much as to why he has been struggling this season.

Playing in a team coached by Tony Pulis means that you have to be at the peak of fitness, with Lambert himself admitting that he has a number of jobs to do as a striker, rather than simply relying on his goalscoring.

He cannot just wait in the final third for the ball to come to him, knowing that he will often convert a chance, but has to drop deep to defend, and if playing as a lone forward, basically run the entire attack.

Lambert’s inability to fulfil this sort of role has seen him fall behind Saido Berahino and Salomon Rondon in the pecking order for Pulis’ team, and it is hard to imagine the ageing forward breaking back into the side.

He is not overly suited to Pulis’ system, and his lack of fitness is a real worry considering we are now nine games into the season and he is not able to play a full game without tiring out.

Lambert looked to be a great signing for West Brom over the summer when he was brought to the Hawthorns, but with every passing week it looks as if he will fail to live up to his potential with the Baggies.

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