James hands Portsmouth boss Avram a boost as keeper edges closer to return

02 December 2009 04:57
On the mend: James

Portsmouth boss Avram Grant has been handed a major boost with the news that David James' calf problem is not as bad as first feared.  

England goalkeeper James suffered the injury in the warm-up before the defeat at Stoke last month and was initially expected to be out until Christmas.  

However, he has made good progress and Grant is monitoring the 39-year-old ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash against Burnley.  

'David James' recovery is much quicker than we thought because he's professional and working every hour of the day, doing his best to be fit,' Grant said.  

'We thought initially it would be four weeks, but it will be a lot less.'

The Burnley clash at Fratton Park is seen as a must-win game by Pompey's players after they were knocked out of the Carling Cup by Aston Villa.  

'We have to believe and be positive,' said veteran striker Kanu. 'We've got to lift our heads up and get the result we need.  

'We've got to come away with the points against Burnley because that's the game that's going to determine what's going to happen in the league.  

'It's a winnable game. We can play football, but sometimes you have to play less football to win games. That's the difficult thing. But let's keep playing football and hope our luck changes.'

Crunch time: Kanu (left) is determined to bag three points at the weekend

Midfielder Richard Hughes added: 'Saturday's the biggest game of the season so far, it's a must-win game.  

'We wanted to progress in the Carling Cup. We had to win three matches to get to this point, so it's not as if we haven't been focusing on it.  

'When you get to the quarter-finals Wembley is in your sights. We had a great experience there two seasons ago and the fans all wanted to go back there.  

'But we can't dwell on it because Saturday's too important for that. We've had some good performances but we're fed up with saying that because this is a results business.'

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Source: Daily_Mail