James On Comeback

David James says that for a brief moment he thought he was going to actually play at Portman Road.
David, who made his reserve team comeback on Wednesday night, reveals:
"Before the Ipswich game I had obviously been told on the phone about Steve Bywater breaking his hand and knew I was on the bench.
"Then when I got to the dressing room someone said 'Shaka is not here, he has got flu.'
"I was thinking 'struth - that's the quickest leap from nowhere to the first team I have ever made'.
"But it was said straight away that it was only a 48 hour one earlier in the week and the concern was quickly quashed.
"He had seriously had the flu and had he been out that would have meant Ludo going on the bench - he would have got a win bonus!"
With Craig Forrest and now Steve Bywater out for some months, Glenn Roeder is looking for goalkeeping cover - but David will again be a substitute this weekend.
He insists he can do a job and adds:
"The fact that I can now do all the training means I was in some sort of playable position. "Ipswich was a little bit early but I could have performed, though to what standard would have been interesting.
"As unfortunate as the circumstances are for the other keepers at least I could help out."
But when asked if any of the outfield players could deputise between the sticks in an emergency, he says:
"Have you ever seen any of them in goal?"
Glenn Roeder has praised David for being so 'driven' to return, and the keeper says:
"The fact I want to make my debut is driving me on for starters, and with the international side of things being so good that's another carrot - I have fruit and veg stall in front of me!"
He has certainly surprised everyone by coming back so quickly but says modestly:
"A lot of people were asking if it was early or late but at the end of the day a diagnosis is simply a verbal belief and ultimately an injury is as good or as bad as the individual.
"It's about how hard I'm going to work and if John Green hadn't got me to see the right people along the way I might still be a few weeks away.
"I've been working hard with him and Webbo and I'd like to think I haven't been a pain in the backside - but I'm sure they'd say something else.
"They are both dedicated physios and as tough as it's been, it's been enjoyable, and they have worked just as hard to help me through."
David knows he faces another hurdle in trying to dislodge Shaka Hislop when he does get fully fit, and adds:
"Shaka has been doing well just lately and a bit of competition won't do anyone any harm, so I want to get in a position to start challenging.
"We are talking to each other every day; he's been very good checking up how I am and sincerely wishing me all the best.
"He made reference just the other week that it will be good when I get fit because he will have the competition; arguably at the moment he hasn't got any.
"He has made some telling saves in the last three games which has helped us on our three game run.
"For me it is not just a simple case of walking in the side, it is a case of getting fit and then warranting selection; for the manager and the club it is a healthy situation."
He was delighted to see Craig Forrest at Portman Road, and he adds:
"It was great to see Craig before the game; he has got to go through what he has got to go through and everyone at this club will be behind him, and if he needs anything I'm sure everyone will be there to support him."
David says that Craig was initially reticent about going to get medical advice when he discovered a lump, and explains:
"I'm glad the camaraderie in the dressing room helped out because he was um-ing and ah-ing and everyone told him to go and see the doctor.
"In a lesser environment everyone would have had his mouth shut and perhaps he could have been in a worse state.
"Touch wood, though, he is going to be okay and we are here as a team to support him.
"The relationships in the dressing room are such that at the time it was amusing, if you can imagine, when he was saying what was wrong.
"But even then the lads were saying 'go on, do yourself a favour and get it checked.'
"John Green said it had been caught at the right time, and everyone wishes him all the best.
"I think there will be an abundance of goalkeepers in about four months time!"
Talking of on-field matters, he says there was no need to panic after the Blackburn and Everton games, adding:
"The two defeats were just that - two defeats; yes, a lot of goals were scored but it wasn't a major major crisis.
"It was concerning because no one wants to get beaten that way but overall we are capable and we have shown that in the last three games."
David is pleased he has got his first reserve team game under his belt, and adds:
"The first step on the ladder before yesterday was playing in a reserve game; I have done that now.
"I have thought about the game and where I need to improve and I have done some work today on what needs polishing up - that will be continuous through the season.
"It wasn't a very physically demanding game, that much has to be said, but I was pleased with the end result.
"I've trained with the first team for about 10 days; training is one thing but in a game spontaneous decisions have to be executed in the right manner.
"While there is the international break there are two reserve games which will give me the chance to sharpen up on what I have to sharpen up on and make a pitch for the first team, and that is my next goal."