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June 14, 2010

England encouraged by Green response

By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Robert Green has "not been destroyed" by the mistake that cost England two points against USA in Group C's opening game on Saturday, an England insider has told Soccernet.

Rob Green struggled to get his hands on the Jabulani against USA.
GettyImagesRob Green struggled to get his hands on the Jabulani against USA.

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Green has been roundly criticised in the national press following his error in allowing Clint Dempsey's shot to escape his grasp and it is widely expected that the West Ham 'keeper will be dropped when England play Algeria on Friday.

But the England camp have been impressed with the way Green has responded to adversity, and even if he is dropped, then it will not necessarily be David James who replaces him in the England XI.

An England insider told Soccernet: "The error has not destroyed Robert Green, absolutely not. We have seen Robert Green in his after match interviews, and around the camp, and he is showing a positive reaction.

"Yes, it was a mistake, but we are all glad to hear that he is remaining confident, we are pleased about this, and it means that Fabio Capello will need to look again at all three goalkeepers in training over the next few days to make up his mind.

"It will be a hard decision, not the easy one everyone expects, simply to leave out the 'keeper because of his error. If the manager did not have confidence, rather enough confidence, to select David James for the first game, you have to ask yourself, will he now have more confidence in him?

"Also Fabio Capello rates Joe Hart very highly so there is no reason why Joe Hart might not play either."

It is reported that James was angered by Capello's refusal to pick him for the USA game but suggestions that a rift has developed between the 'keeper and the coaching staff have been swiftly rejected.

A source added: "If the media wish to focus on this, by all means, it means they won't focus on something else. There has been no problem. If David James thought he should have played, that's fine, that's good, it shows he believes he is in the right shape to play."

Capello has been the subject of some criticism following England's opening game - with questions asked over his team selection and the performance of key players - but the England camp will not resort to panic.

"The performance was not that bad," the source said."Yes, I know that will raise a few eyebrows, but we have seen it now four times, and it was not so bad. After we scored, we were waiting for the second goal, we were controlling the game, and playing much better in midfield even though it was two against their three."