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England news

James backs Green to bounce back

June 13, 2010
By Soccernet staff

David James believes Robert Green will not dwell on his error against USA and has backed his team-mate to recover his confidence sooner rather than later.

David James, Rob Green England training
GettyImagesDavid James: Believes his team-mate can bounce back from his clanger

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James is tipped to replace Green in Friday's second Group C game against Algeria in Cape Town after Green cost England victory by inexplicably allowing Clint Dempsey's seemingly harmless shot to slip through his fingers.

Fabio Capello has vowed to speak with Green before he makes his decision, although the Italian must be tempted to take decisive action in order to preserve England's presence in the competition.

But James is not enjoying his team-mate's discomfort. And, having found himself in a similar situation early in the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign when a mistake in Austria proved costly at the time and led to him losing his place to Paul Robinson, he is not convinced there will be a lasting legacy as some have suggested.

"It shouldn't take him any longer than two minutes to recover,'' James said. "Things happen. He made a great save in the second half so he is back on course. Mistakes are the nature of the game but in that respect he has redeemed himself.''

James confirmed that Capello's decision to select Green had only been revealed five minutes before the England players boarded the bus that took them from their training base to the nearby Royal Bafokeng stadium.

Much has been made of how late Capello tends to leave such key decisions, believing the uncertainty affects preparations, but James is not convinced the theory is correct given the England players must get themselves in the right frame of mind anyway.

"We have had three weeks to prepare,'' he said. "The environment hasn't changed from any other preparation. The board goes up five minutes before we get on the bus and it was the same yesterday.''

Like most members of the goalkeeping fraternity, James and Green have an understanding that ensured a training ground chat was planned to ensure there was no lingering legacy that could spill into the Algeria match if Capello decided to stick with his first-choice.

Having claimed that position for Euro 2004, and seemingly established himself as Capello's preferred option by starting the Italian's first 13 matches in charge, James is clearly hoping for a chance to shine himself, having initially been overlooked despite being handed the prized number one shirt.

"I am fit and well,'' he said. "The situation with the squad numbers was numerical, not necessarily who was going to be picked. I don't have a problem with the selection. There are seven games and 23 players. I am part of a squad.''

James certainly sees no need to panic about England's situation even though, by beating Algeria, Slovenia have eased themselves clear at the head of Group C.

Providing they avoid defeat on Friday, England will still have an opportunity to make the second round, whilst a victory over the team ranked 30th in the world would leave the Three Lions well placed to secure top spot and what is scheduled to be an easier passage to the semi-finals.

"We would have liked to have won but we haven't lost. A draw still means we are in a good position,'' James said. "There are a lot of positives to take out, so now we look to the next match.''