Hart praises committed James
Paul Hart has praised David James' commitment, insisting the shot-stopper is still England's No.1.
By Carla Hilton
Last Updated: 09/10/09 3:33pm
Paul Hart has praised David James' commitment to Pompey, insisting the veteran shot-stopper is still England's No.1.
James, 39, watched as the likes of Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson left in the summer to try and ease the club's financial crisis.
And, in a new twist to the Fratton Park saga, Ali Al-Faraj has taken control of the club from Sulaiman Al-Fahim, with Avram Grant coming in as director of football.
To say it has been a rollercoaster season would be an understatement, with Pompey barely scraping through a relegation battle last term to suffer a torrid start this campaign.
But the Welwyn-born shot-stopper has stayed faithful through it all and is a credit to both club and country, according to Hart.
He claims James is still England's No.1 goalkeeper and has heaped praise on him for such dedication through difficult times.
"David stayed when others have gone. We understand why some have gone and we are desperately sorry that others have gone, but he is still here," Hart told the Portsmouth News. "His presence is crucial.
"He is the best goalkeeper in England and I think you can see that. You can see how he gives us a calmness and provides a backbone to the team.
"Our defending was excellent against Wolves and Jamo was a big part of that. He is England's No.1."
Hart has been assured his position at the club is secure, having guided Pompey to safety at the end of a torrid season last term.
"I am a bit of a sponge," said Hart, appointed as Portsmouth director of youth operations in March 2007.
"I have learned from previous managerial roles and I have been able to deal with things better as a result.
"If I was to take umbrage or ask questions about what was going on and feel I was badly treated, I don't think I would have been able to manage this job."