James - No margin for error
Experienced keeper admits time is running out on Pompey
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: February 18, 2010 3:27pm
James: Back to full fitness
David James admits Portsmouth's meeting with Stoke on Saturday has become a must-win fixture.
Pompey may be making the headlines for all the wrong reasons at the moment, as they stand on the brink of financial collapse, but there is still much work to be done on the field.
The ailing South Coast club are staring relegation in the face, even without the threat of a possible points deduction for entering administration, and are running out of time to haul themselves to safety.
Just 13 games now remain in the 2009/10 Premier League season, with Pompey eight points adrift of safety, and England international James knows there is no margin for error as Avram Grant's troops head down the final stretch.
"The games are in short supply now. There are 13 matches left and we need to win a lot of them," the veteran keeper told The News.
"Basically, Stoke is a must-win. Essentially, we have to look at every game as a win, regardless of who it's against.
"We have Liverpool and Tottenham coming up - which are very, very difficult games - but we have to go out with the mentality we have to win."
James is hoping he will be around to provide a last line of defence throughout the survival bid, having shaken off the niggling knocks which have disrupted his season.
"There were a couple of things that needed tightening up about my Southampton performance (last Saturday), but I was happy," he said.
"That was my fifth game in a row, which was important. Psychologically it was good for me and performances have felt a lot better with each match.
"Before that little run, I'd been out with a calf problem and not played for six weeks.
"Essentially, I was stepping back into pre-season when I went out there against Manchester City, which was a scary thought.
"I literally just wanted to come off after 90 minutes of that match not being injured.
"Since I've come back, for me the fear was not being able to get through two games in a week. I've now achieved that without injury."