James - No fitness worries
Portsmouth and England goalkeeper David James is not worried by his persistent calf injury.
Last Updated: 26/12/09 12:11pm
Portsmouth and England goalkeeper David James insists he is not worried by his persistent calf injury.
The 39-year-old shot-stopper has only played twice since the end of October but is not concerned that he will not be able to return to top form.
With James hoping to secure the No.1 spot for the Three Lions in next year's World Cup, and aiming to keep Pompey in the Premier League, he is keen to return to action as soon as possible.
He concedes that both club and country duties are of equal importance and insists his fitness is not suffering because of his spell on the sidelines.
"This is just one injury," he said in The Times. "My fitness is not a problem.
"As regards the England scenario, my focus has to be on Portsmouth because I can't have one without the other."
The experienced goalkeeper is far from assured of a starting place in Fabio Capello's World Cup side, and certain quarters have argued that his age will hamper his recovery.
"Age doesn't register with me," he added. "It genuinely is just a number in that respect.
"People go on about you getting older and things happen, blah, blah. But you know what? You're only as old you feel."
The likes of Robert Green and Ben Foster have been touted as possible replacements for James, while Birmingham's Joe Hart and Blackburn's Paul Robinson have both been in good form so far this season.
James believes Foster has a lot of potential, but thinks he first has to replace Edwin van der Sar at Manchester United.
"Edwin is awesome," he remarked. "I respect all goalkeepers because of the goalkeepers' union and all that, but Edwin really is different gravy.
"Put it this way, I'm sure that if I watch any weekend's football from across Europe, I can find you 101 great saves which Edwin might not make, but as a goalkeeper, looking at his distribution, his control, his composure, he's awesome.
"I think Edwin van der Sar is Ben's biggest challenge. It's difficult when you're trying to establish yourself as a young goalkeeper at a top club.
"I had it at Liverpool. The margins for error are so small. At that top end of the table, failure isn't tolerated."