David James eyes starting place in England opener

By Michael Owen
david james

James says a place in Capello's team was "all he could think about"

David James says he is desperate to clinch a place in England’s starting line-up against the United States on Saturday.

James, who has been a back-up keeper at the last two World Cup competitions, admitted everything he has done over the past year has been aimed at improving his chances of being Fabio Capello’s first-choice keeper throughout the competition in South Africa.

“I was on the bike and all I was thinking was: ‘England, World Cup, England, World Cup,’” James told The Mirror.

“That was all I was thinking about.”

Despite the strength of teams such as Spain and Brazil the Portsmouth keeper feels England can be successful in South Africa and said he wants to play a major part in the competition.

“I genuinely believe England are going to be successful, I want that above everything else. I want to be part of that success so I want to be number one.

“A long time ago I stopped trying to second-guess people. I get stressed about Portsmouth losing and so I haven’t burdened myself with the extra stress of wondering what’s in the mind of Fabio Capello.

“I’ve been to two World Cups before and felt that with Dave Seaman and Paul Robinson I wanted to do everything to help them be ready for the game.

“But I was also thinking if either came off I wanted to come on. Or if something happens I want to be the keeper to play in the next game.

“But then the final whistle blows – as it did last time against Portugal – and you’re devastated, even if you’ve not been playing. You’ve given so much commitment though to the squad, to the management and you’re gutted.”

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