‘Special’ debut for Rickie

Rickie Lambert made his first appearance for Liverpool and admitted he was suffering from nerves before the game at Preston North End.

The England striker, who was part of Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad and featured against Uruguay, moved to Anfield from Southampton shortly before heading to Brazil last month.

The boyhood Reds supporter returned to pre-season training early and made his bow – wearing the no.9 jersey – in the 2-1 victory at Deepdale on Saturday. 

“That’s the most nervous I’ve been before a game for a while.”

Rickie Lambert 

Lambert started the game as Brendan Rodgers’ men came from a goal down to beat the League One outfit.

“It was special. I had to get a few moments in check at the beginning, but it was special,” Lambert told the Liverpool FC website

“Obviously I’m professional, I’m 32 now and I’m able to get my emotions in check, and now it’s all about my fitness. 

“That’s all I was concentrating on, trying my best and trying to get a goal. I was a little bit disappointed not to get a goal but I thoroughly enjoyed it.” 

He added: “I was nervous before kick-off and I probably haven’t been that nervous for a while. 

“I’ve played in a lot of big games in my career and that’s the most nervous I’ve been before a game for a while, but it was a special moment for me and one I’ll remember.” 

Lambert and his Reds team-mates have now departed for USA, where the former Saints man went with England prior to the World Cup. 

Their pre-season tour takes in Boston, New York, Chicago and Charlotte as they face Roma, Manchester City, Olympiacos and AC Milan. 

And with the Premier League campaign starting against his former club on 19 August, he’s relishing the chance to pull on the Liverpool shirt across the Atlantic. 

“I can’t wait and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “The lads have told me it’s special and I can’t wait now.”