Ex-Canary Green is not counting his chickens

Former Norwich City 'keeper Robert Green insists he is taking nothing for granted in the battle to be England's World Cup No. 1, despite being first choice for the majority of games in the past 12 months.

Former Norwich City 'keeper Robert Green insists he is taking nothing for granted in the battle to be England's World Cup No. 1, despite being first choice for the majority of games in the past 12 months.

Green was in the starting XI for the eighth time in the last 10 internationals and made two fine saves as England defeated Mexico 3-1 at Wembley on Monday.

He has seized his chance after an injury to David James led to him wearing the jersey for the World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan last June.

Green's run of games was only interrupted when Ben Foster was chosen for the home game with Belarus in September and the friendly with Brazil in Doha two months later.

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But the West Ham goalkeeper is refusing to contemplate being between the posts for the opening World Cup clash with the United States on June 12.

Green said: 'To play and to make saves against Mexico was pleasing and tempered only by letting a goal in. In international football chances don't come along as often as in Premier League football.

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'You know if you can make saves they are important moments in a game because in the same way you are not going to make as many chances up the other end to make amends if the opposition score.

'But I'm not going to read into anything or listen to anything anybody says (about the goalkeeping situation).

'You've just got to be prepared to play the next game. We've got a big game on Sunday (against Japan) and you've got to be prepared to play that.

'If I'm playing then great, if I'm not playing then I'll be ready. That's the most you can do and the opportunities come few and far between in international football to impress so I just want to be prepared to take each chance when I can.'

In the past, England's first choice heading into tournaments has been established via the likes of David Seaman and Paul Robinson.

But the current situation is wide open with Green, James and Joe Hart - who has had an outstanding season at Birmingham - all genuine contenders.

Asked if that was a strange situation, Green added: 'I think it's a fairly unique position at the moment. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, we're yet to find out.

'I'm sure we're pushing each other as much as we can, which is the main thing. Whoever is going to be playing is going to be playing well, because he's kept two other guys out the side.

'But the other two guys are going to have to support and encourage that guy. I'm sure that is what will happen come the first game against the USA.

'We'll wait and see. You can do as much as you can and that's all you can do.'

Green added: 'Do I feel like the number one? No, not at all. We've got a game on Sunday and I want to get ready for that.

'I enjoyed playing a half against Mexico, I'll get back training to prepare for the game on Sunday and that's about it.'

Green is confident he will be able to deal with the lighter ball that will be in use at the World Cup after using them at England's high altitude training camp in Austria.

He said: 'Different balls provide different problems and, with the modern balls, it's just something you've got to deal with.

'It's not so much a problem but something you have to manage and get prepared with. The more we train with them, the more we are prepared.

'The balls seem to fly a lot more, they're a lot more 'plasticy' than previous balls and guys are encouraged to shoot from distance.

'We'll have to see how it develops because, obviously, we're going to be a lot higher up and being in stadiums is a lot different from being in the mountains in Austria.

'But, as problems go, it's not the worst thing to happen in the world, so we'll just deal with it.'

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