Football

Pompey keeper doesn't believe in fairytales

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David James does not believe in fairytales and maintains should Portsmouth to pull off a shock FA Cup final victory over Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday it would be down to nothing other than hard work.

Pompey will be glad to see the back of a season which saw them endure one financial crisis after another, as promise of new investment never materialised, salaries were paid late and eventually the club slipped into administration which saw them docked nine points to all but seal their relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

The FA Cup, however, has provided much-needed solace, and the England goalkeeper said: "Playing Chelsea, who are in pretty good form at the moment, we are going to be definite underdogs.

But we will do as we did at Spurs, preparing well to identify how we can nullify their strengths and take advantage of their weaknesses - Chelsea are not unbeaten and have not won every game 8-0."

He added: "It is just a case of making sure we do things right."

Hard work is the key to a Portsmouth success, according to James.

"I do not believe in fairytales - I like reality," he said. "It is no good walking out there and thinking something divine will take over - we are going to have to work hard like we did against Tottenham when we got through by virtue of a solid team performance.

"Chelsea are a tremendous side, league champions, and in their five high-scoring games, they have probably put in more than we have scored all season.

"It sounds daunting, but at the same time, they are not unbeaten and there are flaws in their make-up."

Pompey beat Coventry, Sunderland, arch-rivals Southampton and Birmingham en route to their semi-final against Tottenham. James, though, thought the FA Cup dream was dead at the Ricoh Arena before a bit of good fortune saw Pompey come through their third-round replay after extra-time.

"When we had travelled up to Coventry, after 89 minutes I thought the FA Cup run was over," recalled the Pompey goalkeeper, who missed the game through injury.

"It was bizarre how that late own goal got us into extra-time. I was in the players' lounge, about to walk out wondering whether it was going to be penalties or not, then we got the last-minute goal from Aaron Mokoena to win it."

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Topics:
Portsmouth
David James
Football
Premier League
FA Cup

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