James ready for Blues test
David James feels Portsmouth's turbulent campaign means they will go into the FA Cup final with no fear.
Last Updated: 13/05/10 11:48am
Portsmouth goalkeeper David James feels the turbulent campaign at the club means they go into their FA Cup final against Chelsea with no fear.
Avram Grant's side have made an unlikely passage to Wembley having endured a nightmare season that saw an administration-induced relegation condemn the club to the Championship.
And while the 39-year-old admitted the turmoil at Fratton Park had been difficult to endure, he insisted he has relished the challenge of battling against the odds.
The stopper explained: "There's nothing worse after a game when you've been a virtual spectator and wondering 'Why was I out there?' That's never happened at Portsmouth this year.
"I have to be stimulated to enjoy my football and in a perverse way I've relished the challenges this season has thrown up. There have been some classically bad games.
"Beating Hull 3-2 was a stinking, horrible match. Sitting in the dressing room after some games I've thought, 'I'm going to go mad here'. So I'm not fearful at all about what could happen on Saturday.
"The worst-case scenario is they could tear us apart because they are capable of doing that to anyone. But that's already happened plenty of times before, so what's to worry about?"
The troubled money situation at Pompey has meant manager Grant has had to field patched-up and makeshift teams during a season which saw them finish bottom.
The England keeper admits he has no idea what back four will protect him at Wembley on Saturday, although he feels dealing with the spectre of going out of business proved more difficult.
But James - so often in the firing line as the final form of defence - admits working in adverse conditions has primed them for the clash against the Premier League champions.
He added: "I've no idea what sort of a defence we'll have in the final. I've played behind some remarkably makeshift back-fours all season.
"It's not been conducive to playing our best football but neither has all the uncertainty, the rumours and the financial problems. It would probably have helped us if we'd gone into administration and been docked the nine points earlier in the season.
"Everyone knew it was coming but it just seemed to drag on for ever and that had a detrimental effect."
As the financial situation at Pompey unfolded, James was one of the star names being linked with a move away from the club in the January transfer window.
And the former Liverpool man admitted he did consider walking out of the Fratton Park exit - but reconsidered after learning his chances of representing England at World Cup finals would not be affected.
He added: "There was a time when I was concerned that playing for Pompey might be affecting my England chances.
"I spoke to someone in the England camp and was told it was not a problem. As soon as I heard that, I wasn't even thinking of leaving."
With Grant's future in doubt, James could be playing under a new boss at the stricken club - and the stopper didn't rule out a move into management as he approaches the twilight years of his year.
He said: "I don't know how much longer I'll play and I definitely have a desire to go into management one day. I've worked for plenty of bad managers and I look forward to when I can introduce practices which could get more out of a team."http://www.skybet.com/skybet?action=GoEvEv&id=12277656&aff=4321&SS_fb_footballhttp://www.skybet.com/skybet?action=GoEvEv&id=12277656&aff=4321&SS_fb_footballhttp://www.skybet.com/skybet?action=GoEvEv&id=12277656&aff=4321&SS_fb_footballhttp://www.skybet.com/skybet?action=GoEvEv&id=12277656&aff=4321&SS_fb_footballhttp://www.skybet.com/skybet?action=GoEvEv&id=12277656&aff=4321&SS_fb_football