James keen to push Robinson for #1 spot

August 23, 2007

David James is determined to push blundering Paul Robinson all the way in his battle to regain the number one shirt for England.

Robinson dropped another costly clanger in England's 2-1 defeat by Germany at Wembley last night and James, who replaced him at half-time, is ready to keep the pressure on the Tottenham stopper.

Robinson could only palm Bernd Schneider's cross to the feet of a grateful Kevin Kuranyi in the 26th minute.

The goal cancelled out Frank Lampard's ninth minute opener for England - his 13th for his country - but Germany completed a winning comeback when Christian Pander beat Robinson with a 25-yard drive five minutes before the break.

Veteran James was delighted to be back in the squad but has now set his sights on featuring in England's forthcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia.

Portsmouth goalkeeper James declared: 'Whoever is out there for England, we do what we can to make sure they are at their best so that we win.

'But ultimately everyone in the England squad wants to play, so between now and the next squad, I'll be trying to do what I can do to jog the manager's mind and hopefully get a shout. But I want that to be for me doing well and not at the expense of someone else not doing well.

'I wasn't expecting to play so to get back into the squad was a major achievement in my book. Hopefully in the next two weeks I will give myself another opportunity to be in the next squad.

'If the opportunity arises, I am up for it of course. I didn't want to be here just to warm the bench up and England have got some very good young goalkeepers.

'I thought it was a decent performance from us but obviously the result won't suggest that. But we were by far the stronger side and there was a lot of confidence out there.''

Robinson tried to put a brave face on his mistake but admitted he felt let down by his own performance.

The Tottenham goalkeeper said: 'I am disappointed with the way I played this evening. The beginning of the season has been good but I took one step back tonight. We never like to lose, we wanted to have a good record at Wembley.

'We want to be one of the best teams in the world but it is always going to be tough game against Germany.

'I think I took up a reasonable position for the ball to be crossed and was unlucky on two counts. The first was when the ball ended up in the top left corner from the touchline and after managing to get it out, it's gone straight to their player.

'People won't show sympathy and you can understand why, so I'm hurting tonight.''

England had plenty of chances to win the game with striker Michael Owen forcing Jens Lehmann into a fine save seconds after Pander's strike.

The Newcastle ace then shot into the side-netting when Arsenal's error-prone goalkeeper presented him with a chance to level on the edge of the six-yard box.

The second half saw Philipp Lahm clear a John Terry header off the German goal line while Kieron Dyer sent a David Beckham cross wide from six-yards.

But Germany held on to become the first team to defeat England at the new Wembley.