ROEDER FEARS LENGTHY JAMES ABSENCE

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WEST HAM boss Glenn Roeder is fuming as he fears the worst concerning David James's knee injury, which the keeper sustained a matter of seconds after replacing Nigel Martyn in England's defeat to Holland.

The unlucky Hammers boss, who is already enduring injury problems within his squad, feels that the White Hart Lane friendly should not have been played.

James, an impressive capture from Aston Villa, collided with Arsenal defender Martin Keown, and was forced out of the action with Richard Wright taking over between the posts.

"Our physio has had a look at David this morning and he fears it could be months rather than weeks," stated Roeder.

"If one of the ligaments has gone, he could be out for a very long time.

"I signed a keeper who was, in my opinion, one of the best keepers in England and I was so happy to secure him.

"He was the first piece of the jigsaw and to lose him is a massive disappointment.

"It was a match last night that will make no difference to the Germany game.

"A get-together for two or three days at Bisham Abbey would have been just as good.

"Mr Eriksson says he knows what his team will be, maybe David's injury has changed that now.

"It makes you wonder whether these internationals should be played."

As a result of James's absence, Roeder has been forced to recall Steve Bywater from his loan spell with Wolverhampton Wanderers, causing similar problems for his Wolves counterpart Dave Jones.

The loss of Bywater means that Michael Oakes is the only senior goalkeeper currently on the books at Molineux.