James Ready For Action

David James says he is ready to go head to head with Shaka Hislop for the number one spot against Charlton Athletic next Monday - but insists the pair are the best of friends.

He stresses that there was no resentment from Shaka when he signed in the summer - and there is none now that he is about to compete for his first team place.

"The relationship with Shaka is very good - as it was before my injury," he says, "and as Shaka has pointed out, as much as we are there to help and support each other it is all about fair and healthy competition to play.

"With that being the case, the guy who is playing will benefit and West Ham will benefit and, as members of West Ham's team, that is the key to it."

David says that one more second string game should see him through, and explains: "I'd like to think I'm fit now; we trained today and I have a reserve game tomorrow, my third, against Fulham.

"We had a little break because it was international week so that gave me a bit of a rest but hopefully I will put myself in contention from there on in.

"The lads were buzzing today in training and looking back to getting on a winning streak after the disappointment of the Fulham game."

Despite it being international week, David insists that his England thoughts are not uppermost in his mind, and he says: "First of all, I've got to be out there with the West Ham lads, which is the next thing on the agenda.

"I am quite surprised how well I feel this week from the last which is very encouraging for me.

"That is it at the end of the day; it is all well and good to jump up and down and be able to kick balls left, right and centre but if I can't put myself in contention then I am not ready.

"I do feel ready now and provided everything is all right with this reserve game I will put myself in contention for the next first team game."

David will continue specialist work with the physiotherapy team even when he is fully functional, and he adds: "Because what we are doing it can be continued even when I am 100% fit; the work I have been doing with John Green and Simon Webster has been spot on."