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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 22:55 GMT
James admits England shock
David James feared he would be axed by England
James feared he would be axed by England
England v Australia | International friendly | Wednesday 12 February | Upton Park | Kick-off 2000 GMT |

West Ham United goalkeeper David James has confessed he "wasn't sure" whether he would win an England call-up after his struggles at club level this season.

He has been held responsible for several goals recently - but views his continued involvement with England as a vote of confidence.

James is expected to start Wednesday's international against Australia at Upton Park, despite conceding 52 Premiership goals during the current campaign.

Eriksson has faith in James

He will play the first 45 minutes, with Leeds United's Paul Robinson expected to replace him in the second half.

It will be a rarity for James, 32, to start an international, with six of his 10 caps to date having come from the substitutes' bench.

He admitted: "When the squad was announced I wasn't sure whether I would be in.

"Contrary to popular belief, we don't get a tap-up before the squad comes out. I wasn't actually waiting for a phone call to say I wasn't in but it could have happened.

"If it happened, I would have looked at our league position at West Ham and would have thought it had an influence on the coach's decision.

When the squad was announced I wasn't sure whether I would be in

England goalkeeper David James

"I didn't even pack my boots! There is a sense of relief. But the fact that I am in the squad - and people are also saying to me that I am starting - is a tremendous act of faith from Sven-Goran Eriksson and a tremendous vote of confidence.

"I've let in lots of goals, which I don't like doing at any time. I'm more critical of myself than anyone else. It is not the worst form of my career and definitely not the best.

"The confusion for me was how were things going to be judged. If it was purely on the number of goals going past me, then I wouldn't have stood much chance.

"But I haven't been beating myself up over the performances because a lot of the goals have been half decent and circumstances haven't helped me out.

"It happens. If you go through a spell of not conceding goals and then all of a sudden they start going in, you can argue that dents your confidence."

England v Australia latest

England 1-3 Australia

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10 Feb 03 | England
10 Feb 03 | Internationals
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