James struggling for fitness

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant is adamant that David James is still the club's first-choice goalkeeper.

The 39-year-old has struggled with injuries and illness recently allowing Amir Begovic to impress in the keeper's jersey .

James' absence has also cast doubt on whether he will be in peak shape for next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

The former Liverpool and Aston Villa shot-stopper may not be fit enough to play in Pompey's games over the festive programme, but Grant said:"David James is our number one goalkeeper and I want to keep him, but Asmir also did a very good job and it's good for the team that we can use both of them.

"I don't know when he will be 100 per cent fit. I think it could be in the next week or two weeks.

"I think we need to wait and see but now we want him to be 100 per cent to be available because I don't want him to have another injury. He still has a calf injury. It's not so serious but he needs to fully recover.

"I don't think there are any players who don't want to play. He has played all of his life and players love to play – not be on the bench or to be injured.

"We don't want to sell him and Tottenham didn't even ask. He needs to recover. It's not just him but we don't want a player to play one game and then be injured again.

"I think the team did well without him but also they did well with him. He is good, he is important for the team, but it's also important that Asmir will be good for us as he was in the last few games."

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