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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 September, 2004, 21:11 GMT 22:11 UK
Eriksson defends James
Sven-Goran Eriksson looks on from the bench during the draw in Austria
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson defended goalkeeper David James after his error gifted Austria a 2-2 draw in the opening World Cup qualifier.

He allowed Andreas Ivanschitz's shot to slip through his fingers to complete Austria comeback from two goals down.

Eriksson said: "It happens in football, but he has saved us so many times before, so it's not a problem."

And asked if James would face Poland, Eriksson added: "I am quite sure that David will play on Wednesday."

Eriksson was frustrated that England had allowed Austria back in for a 2-2 draw after goals from Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard appeared to have sealed victory.

He said: "We played well enough to win the game. We played very well in the first half and controlled it completely.

"At 2-0 we should have made it 3-0. It was a game we should have won.

"It is important that we go to Poland and win and I hope we can play like we did in the first half here.

"We created chances and did well defensively. I do not recall Austria creating any good chances."

England captain David Beckham said: "For 70 minutes it couldn't have been a better performance then it's all gone wrong.

"We now have to forget this and pick ourselves up when we play in Poland on Wednesday."

Goalscorer Gerrard revealed his surprise substitution was the result of a mix-up on the England bench.

He said: "It was a bit of a misunderstanding. Wayne Bridge had a kick on his Achilles and I signalled to the bench to change him - and they changed me.

"I thought the manager wanted me to come off but he thought I had signalled to come off - it's one of those things, I can't do anything about it."

Interview: England keeper David James

Interview: England captain David Beckham

Interview: England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson

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