James - Green must bounce back
David James has told goalkeeping rival Rob Green he must forget about his horror show against USA.
Last Updated: 13/06/10 4:12pm
David James has told goalkeeping rival Rob Green he must forget about his horror show in England's 1-1 Group C opener against USA.
Green's first-half blunder when he allowed Clint Dempsey's innocuous long-range effort to slip through his grasp cancelled out the early lead handed to England by Steven Gerrard's opener.
Fabio Capello's men were unable to force their way back into the lead and were indebted to Green following the break when he made an excellent stop from Jozy Altidore after the striker had left Jamie Carragher for dead.
Green, James and Joe Hart are all battling for selection in South Africa with Capello electing to keep the trio in the dark as to who will be handed a starting spot until shortly before kick-off.
There is speculation that the Italian could make an immediate change for Friday's second clash with Algeria, and while James has sympathy for Green he is eager to get involved in the global showpiece.
"I didn't speak to Robert straight after the game because he had to go for a drugs test," said James. "But I know that as a goalkeeper - and we all make a mistake like that sometimes - you just have to put it behind you straight away and get on with the game.
"These things happen and he has to get over it. There is no time to dwell. It was one of those things and it changed the game because after that I thought the US team shut up shop and only counter-attacked in the second half."
James admitted that Capello's policy of not informing his players who will be in action until the team is named is keeping all of the squad on their toes, but can lead to disappointment among those not selected.
"When the manager announced the team, I would not say it was a surprise, but there were people hoping to play who were not picked," he said.
"Everyone wants to play and this environment - the way the manager likes to have things now - encourages an anticipation to play.
"It means that you don't know who is playing or not, of course, so that means you don't have two of the three goalkeepers knowing they are not going to play, as it was in the past."
James, who has No.1 in the squad list, has rejected suggestions that he was absent from the side to tackle USA due to a knee injury, with Capello preferring West Ham shot-stopper Green, who was in possession for the majority of the qualifying campaign.
"I was fit, we all were," the Portsmouth man said. "I am ready to play and, of course, I want to play. I have been around a while and this is not my first World Cup. But I know what it is like and I know what to expect.
"You come to the World Cup and you are disappointed to have the numbers 23 and then 12 on your back, but you have to work hard to play. As a professional, now, I have number one and I am still the man with number one even if I was not picked.
"So, like all the other players, when you know you are not playing you have to push to do everything right and not only help everyone else but push hard to get a game. That's the same for me as anyone else."