Football: `Happy' James out to impress
Friday 13 August 1999
It is the first time in his career that James has started the season with two clean sheets and he insisted the enjoyment factor is a key element in him producing his best form.
James said: "My game is going nicely but it is only borne from enjoyment and, at the moment, I'm enjoying myself. I can't emphasise any more how important that is to me and, with the confidence it brings and the work I am doing with Paul Barron [the Villa goalkeeping coach], I have the chance to improve even more. It's at the stage where I don't mind the one-and-a-half hour trip down the motorway every day to training because I'm so happy. It's important for me to come in and say `I like this, I want to do this."'
James admitted: "The ultimate goal for me is to get back into the England team but to do that I have to perform for Aston Villa. I was told Kevin Keegan was at the game but I'm not going to come off the pitch thinking `I wonder if Kevin Keegan liked what I did?' I'm going to come off thinking `what mistakes did I make?' and `what can I do about it?' and, with Paul Barron's help, assess the game. I've been tired after the two games so far but I'm happy with that because it means the concentration level has been what I want it to be. I think I can improve my game. Everyone is capable of doing `the perfect match' and from there you try and produce a string of `perfect' matches."
James is also quick to acknowledge the part played by the Villa back three trio of Gareth Southgate, Ugo Ehiogu and Colin Calderwood. Although he refuses to criticise the Liverpool rearguard, the the Villa trio must be a welcome change for James. He said: "We learnt some lessons when we played Fiorentina in a pre-season tournament in New York and were beaten 4-0, but the mistakes haven't been made again."
Latest in Sport
Brendan Rodgers future: Odds shorten on sack as Liverpool manager prepares to meet bosses in next 36 hours
Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
Fifa corruption: Sepp Blatter's right-hand man Jerome Valcke 'sent' $10m payment to Jack Warner in letter from the South African FA
Liverpool transfer news: James Milner nearing Anfield switch, but club baulk at £32.5m Christian Benteke release clause
Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...