Germany is just another game - James
Published : 25 Jun 2010 12:10:08
Goalkeeper David James insists England will be treating Sunday's World Cup last-16 clash against Germany just like any other game.
Fabio Capello's side take on Joachim Low's team in Bloemfontein on Sunday with a place in the quarter-finals at stake. Much has been spoken in the build-up about past meetings between the nations but James pays little attention to such talk.
"It's another football match," he said. "Obviously there'll be a lot of external references and whatever else, historical references. But for us it's a game against a decent outfit - one we have to win to progress."
Wednesday's 1-0 win over Slovenia secured England's place in the knockout phase, but Landon Donovan's stoppage-time winner for the USA against Algeria meant Capello's side finished second in Group C and face Group D winners Germany rather than runners-up Ghana.
The outcome left England in a tough quarter of the draw, with Argentina potential quarter-final opponents, but James is not concerned about what might have been.
"We can't do anything about what happened," he said. "We look back at the America game and the performance of Tim Howard which prevented a win.
"Algeria are very difficult to score against, and then we did what we needed to against Slovenia on Wednesday."
James started between the posts against Algeria and Slovenia after Robert Green's howler gifted Clint Dempsey an equaliser for America in the opener, and the England number one is pleased to have finally grasped his chance at his third World Cup.
"When the squad was announced and the numbers issued it was more of numerical thing than a suggestion of the first XI," said the 39-year-old, the oldest player at the finals.
"True to Mr Capello's previous selection process, he must have gauged something in training and felt Robert was the right goalkeeper to start with. I'm happy with that. I'm part of a squad. This World Cup isn't about David James - it's about England being successful. I trained as well as I could, got the chance to go back in and I'm happy."