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Senegal through but lose pair to suspension

By ESPN Staff

England's James target 2010 World Cup

David James wants to be in contention to be England's number one 'keeper for the 2010 World Cup after making his first start for his country in nearly three years.

The Portsmouth stopper was brought back into the side by new coach Fabio Capello for his first match in charge against Switzerland at Wembley.

It was James' first appearance in the starting eleven since the game against Colombia in New York in May 2005 as part of the tour of the United States.

He will be only a few weeks short of his 40th birthday when the next World Cup is held in South Africa - assuming that England manage to qualify - but takes inspiration from Dino Zoff who lifted the World Cup with Italy at that age.

But James admits he would have told Capello straight away if he felt there was no chance of him still being good enough to represent England at that stage of his career.

He said: 'Personally I'm buzzing with the fact I started against Switzerland, even more so that I played the 90 minutes. I am disappointed that the goal went in but overall am happy.

'This may sound funny but I didn't feel nervous at all which I thought might happen with a bit of ressure but it felt good - and I want to experience that again.

'People were saying `James might be in' and I'm thinking `why should I?' There is a new guy in there (Capello) and in the past new guys have had new starts so you anticipate you are not going to be involved.

To be involved and to play, I'm very happy.' James added: 'Can I be number one at 2010 World Cup? Let's take one step at a time - but I want to be. The situation is simple. I've got a contract with Portsmouth which sees me through that World Cup.

'Look at Dino Zoff who is a legend. He played in the World Cup as a 'keeper at 40 and won it at that age.

'Listen, if I had any intentions of not being in the position to play in two and a half years' time, then I would have told him (Capello) `I don't fancy it.'

'But if I'm playing first team football in the Premier League with Portsmouth, then I'd put myself in a position where I could play first team football for England.

'The only thing that is going to stop me is better goalkeepers. There are some very good English 'keepers about at the moment who are playing particularly well in the Premier League and some are very young.

'For me, the best 'keeper plays for England. If it is me then it will be a case of `happy days' but, if it is not me, then it won't be for the lack of trying.'

James believes Capello's method of only telling his players the team a few hours before the kick off is beneficial and keeps the entire squad involved and focused.

He said: 'It has been different, it has been good, it has been concentrated. We've rotated a lot and the most impressive thing was no-one knew what the side was until 10 minutes before we got on the bus.

'That is better rather than having a chosen eleven the day before the game and everyone else given the opportunity not to focus in the right way - and it has worked.

'In some respects it causes a little apprehension but at the same time it keeps everyone focused and I'm well into that.

'We genuinely didn't know who was playing. I sat with Gareth Barry at one stage and he had no idea if he was going to play and I didn't want to commit myself to thinking I was going to play because I didn't want the disappointment.

'Of course, I was anticipating playing in the sense that previous history has shown not being prepared for games can be slightly bad.

'But we all knew what we had to do. On the morning of the game, we went through set plays, everyone did it, not just a chosen eleven. Two groups of players did it, and it wasn't the team and the subs. It was a mixture.