Portsmouth ‘keeper David James has vowed to be fit for next summer’s World Cup, hitting back against England boss Fabio Capello ‘s injury concerns.
Capello warned James he would be left out of his final squad for South Africa if considered ‘unfit’.
The 39-year-old was missing from action in England’s latest friendly against Brazil in Qatar.
The former Liverpool star has been struggling with a knee injury, which kept him out of the squad towards the end of last season.
Despite recovering in the summer, an irritation has remained – yet James remains positive this will not stop him from being England’s no.1.
Speaking to The News, James said: “My knee won’t stop me being fit 2010.
“I’ve got four months now before the next England game and I will be fit and available for selection.
“It’s not a serious injury, it’s just a niggle that we’re managing.
“I know the England manager is concerned about training after games, he has a very strict policy and, if you can’t do his training before a game, he won’t pick you. That’s fair enough.”
James argued the injury was not affecting his Portsmouth training schedule and that he was still preparing for games as he use to.
He said: “I don’t miss any training sessions at Portsmouth. These days I’m in every Monday and Tuesday after a match on the weekend.
“For the last three years at Portsmouth I’ve just done gym work on a Monday.
In the old days, under Harry Redknapp, he was happy for me to do my gym work at home because of the long commute to the training ground from Devon – and the team were only doing 45 minutes on the pitch anyway – Harry’s view was so long as I was performing in matches he was happy.
“These days I do come into training on a Monday but we still mostly do gym work so there is really very little difference.
“My knee hasn’t prevented me from preparing for any of Portsmouth games.”
James going to training on a Monday is an example of how strict the policy at Pompey is nowadays. No special favours are granted. All players are equal.
He will be hoping to emulate goalkeeping legend Dino Zoff as he enters the next World Cup. Zoff, representing Italy, became the oldest winner of the World Cup, winning the trophy at the age of 40 in 1982.
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