James backs Eriksson for Portsmouth

Portsmouth goalkeeper David James believes Sven-Goran Eriksson is the man to rescue his team from the Premier League relegation battle.

James returned to Fratton Park on Thursday after playing in England's friendly defeat in Spain to find his club rudderless following Tony Adams' sacking at the start of this week. Paul Hart will take charge for Saturday's league clash against Manchester City, but Portsmouth are reported to be keen to lure former England coach Eriksson away from his current job with Mexico.

Alan Curbishley, the former Charlton and West Ham boss, and Avram Grant, who spent most of last season in charge at Chelsea, have also been linked with the Portsmouth post. However, James is convinced Eriksson, who worked with the keeper during his England reign, would be able to arrest Portsmouth's run of just two wins in 16 games.

Having a former England manager as manager of Portsmouth I'm sure is something that the fans would never have envisaged.
David James on Sven-Goran Eriksson.

"Somebody of his calibre would be a tremendous acquisition for us," James said. "Sven dropped me a few times, so it would be interesting if he did come in. But when you have players with the ability and quality we have, I think any manager of Sven's high calibre would turn a decent side into a good one again. Having a former England manager as manager of Portsmouth I'm sure is something that the fans would never have envisaged."

Portsmouth are just one point above the relegation zone but James sees no reason why they shouldn't survive, as long as the right man is appointed. "Things change very quickly in football. Last season we won the FA Cup and people were talking about the Champions League. Now we need to push up the table," he said. "Fundamentally we are the same side so in some respects it is shocking to see the drastic change in form."

James had sympathy for Adams, who was sacked just five months after replacing Harry Redknapp. "It is disappointing Tony had to go but I guess two wins in 16 is not form that is going to keep us up," reflected James.

"It is difficult because the perception now will be that, as the manager has, the team is going to change. But hopefully someone will come in and sort us out. The belief has been affected because we have not been winning games. But the brutal truth is that as a team, we have not defended as well as we did last season, and I include myself in that."