Monday, March 24, 2008

James to carry on

David James may be approaching his 38th birthday, but the England goalkeeper maintains he has never been more mentally prepared to play at the highest level.

The Portsmouth stopper, capped 37 times, thought he may never get the chance to pull on the international jersey again after being left out in the cold by former head coach Steve McClaren.

However, James was between the posts again at Wembley for Fabio Capello's opening game in charge last month, and intends to do all he can to remain first choice for his country.

It has, though, been a long and often difficult learning curve for the former Watford trainee, who has found himself reborn at Fratton Park under Harry Redknapp following spells at Aston Villa, West Ham and Manchester City after the end of his troubled seven-year stint with Liverpool in 1999.

Yet James - who once put down his poor form to hours spent playing video games - believes he is stronger for the experience.

"When Mr McClaren took over he gave me the phone call and said I wouldn't be needed, and the question I asked myself was: 'What was going to happen?"' James recalled.

"But the environment I have at Portsmouth is very good. If I did well, I would be in the frame.

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