VIDEO: David James exclusive
Wednesday, 03 March, 2010
The goalkeeper says World Cup preparations begin in earnest against Egypt.
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With just over three months to go until England get their South African adventure underway, goalkeeper, David James, believes tonight’s friendly with Egypt represents the beginning of their World Cup preparations.
England have been drawn in Group C alongside USA, Slovenia and Algeria and James recognises the benefit of facing the recently crowned African champions.
“They are a very decent outfit,” said James, of Hassan Shehata’s side.
“There are a couple of lads at Portsmouth who play for Algeria and they speak very highly of Egypt. I saw a couple of games from the African Cup of Nations, so I think that Mr Capello has done very well in selecting them as opposition leading into the World Cup Finals. It will give us a taste, especially of Algeria, as their football styles are so similar.
“The [African] style of football is very different, and even in the African Nations there was a bit of variation in there as well. Egypt are the best team in the African continent but I think their style will certainly match Algeria's.”
The Egypt friendly is England’s first since the 1-0 defeat to Brazil in November, but with very little time between now and 12 June, James says staying in Capello’s thoughts is at the forefront of every player’s mind.
“In the back of your mind there is always the feeling to make sure that your performances are good enough so that you qualify for England,” he said. “I suppose there is a genuine fear of injury, but that goes with normal everyday football that you have to be concerned about looking after yourself and making sure you don't get injured anyway.
“I think the biggest feeling was what happened when we guaranteed qualification, the Croatia game. Once that was done, it was like 'everyone is happy'. That allows you more to focus on your league games for your club, in my case at Portsmouth our desperate fight to survive in the Premier League.”
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