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Do not write off David James

David James Season 0506

David James Season 0506

Stuart Pearce has backed David James to bounce back after the City 'keeper was left out of the England squad for this week's World Cup qualifiers.

James has been the target of fierce criticism in the press after coming on as a substitute in England's 4-1 defeat in Denmark two weeks ago, but the boss is giving him his full backing and says that there is still plenty of time for the 34-year-old to show the England manager that he can play his part at international level again.
"I had a chat with him on Sunday evening," says Pearce, "And one of the things I said to him was that if you're going to get left out, it's better to get left out in August.

"I was left out of a squad before a World Cup in April, and you've got no chance to reply then. David's of a similar age to what I was then, he's been left out but he's got a year to do something about it, which is a bonus."

The boss has put a metaphorical arm around his number one 'keeper, and knowing the fickle nature of the press very well himself, he asserts that good form for his club could see James back in the England reckoning before too long.

"With how the media work, they wanted David out and he got criticism in the national papers. Some might say he's made the odd mistake, but it's part and parcel of the game and you live with that.

"But it's funny how things turn around, and I've said to David that if his performances are good for Manchester City, all of a sudden there'll be a groundswell of opinion in a month or two month's time that says 'have a look at David James'.

"The media will do that for him if his form's good for this football club. The beauty of it is that he's got eight months to get into a World Cup squad, and I know that's one of his aims."

However Pearce disagrees with the notion that James has been dropped because of his post-match comments in Copenhagen.

"You've got to say it was solely a footballing decision, I don't think it's anything anyone says after a game. If Sven deems this the right time to leave him out, in some ways this might act as a spur to David.

"He's got time on his hands to get himself back in the England squad before the next World Cup, but the only way he can do that is that you have got to play well for your club to get into international football."

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