Mixed emotions for Lambert
England striker Rickie Lambert says the World Cup has provided him with the best and worst moments of his career.
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The 32-year-old's rise from obscurity has been well documented. His remarkable story continued this summer with a move to boyhood club Liverpool after his place in England's 23-man squad heading to Brazil was confirmed.
However, England's stay in Brazil has been short and unpleasant, with defeats to Italy and Uruguay meaning their elimination from the competition is already confirmed with a game still to play.
All that is left is Tuesday's dead rubber against surprise package Costa Rica before they fly home at the end of a frustrating tournament.
"It's a difficult scenario to be in, everyone's disappointed about what's happened and the fact that we've got one more game left," said Lambert, who came on as a substitute in the defeat to Uruguay.
"But we've got to be professional and we've got to give our best and get three points to finish on a high against Costa Rica.
"It's been the best experience of my career and probably the worst experience at the same time.
"It's always difficult being an England fan and getting knocked out, but this time being involved is devastating to get knocked out at an early stage.
"It was probably the worst moment of my career when the final whistle went and we were knocked out of the World Cup," he added.
"It was horrible. Maybe I might look back in years to come and think 'I've played in a World Cup', that will live with me forever. But I can't remember any moments that are as bad as that."
The embarrassingly early exit has seen manager Roy Hodgson's position come under scrutiny, but the former Southampton striker, like his team-mates and the Football Association itself, remains in full support of the under-fire boss.
"One thing is very important - we don't make any knee-jerk decisions," Lambert told www.thefa.com.
"I think the set-up we have, the manager who is in charge is definitely the person we need to go forward with the group of young kids coming through.
"The progression they have had under Roy has been amazing, so if he can keep the group together for another two years it's going to be exciting and they are going to learn after what has just happened.
"Roy has given the young players a chance and they have thrived on it. That's definitely one of the positives we'll take out of the World Cup and when the next scenario comes around in the next two years at the Euros, this is going to help them. That's why this set-up needs to stay together."