Green: 'Play me and I will make amends'
Robert Green has apologised to the England players and supporters for his World Cup howler against the United States. But the former Norwich City goalkeeper insists his error in the 1-1 draw has made him doubly determined to make amends if head coach Fabio Capello keeps faith with him against Algeria.
Robert Green has apologised to the England players and supporters for his World Cup howler against the United States.
But the former Norwich City goalkeeper insists his error in the 1-1 draw has made him doubly determined to make amends if head coach Fabio Capello keeps faith with him against Algeria.
Green woke yesterday to find himself vilified in some national newspapers for allowing a harmless looking 25-yard shot from Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey slip from his grasp and over the goal line five minutes before half-time. It cancelled out England captain Steven Gerrard's opening goal in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
Green made no excuses for his error, such as the controversial ball or finding out whether he was playing only two hours before kick-off, and wants to put matters right on Friday in Cape Town.
'I walked in at half-time, said sorry to the chaps and I apologise to however many million people at home as well,' he said. 'But the important thing is you are ready and I am willing to work mentally on it. It's not a problem. I've done it before, I'm 30 years old and I've learned to deal with these things.
'The manager has to answer whether he will stick with me. I'll be prepared, be ready and be prepared just the same, wanting to play. I'm desperately keen to play, I want to play every game I possibly can. This is the biggest stage in the world.'
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However, Green added: 'I'll be twice as determined for this not to happen again. This makes me more determined to play next time to right the wrong.
'You want to be a man about it and you want to stand up. You want to be tested. Playing lovely football and making wonderful saves is not a challenge. This is a challenge and this is why you are a footballer. That's what football's all about.
'It's got a wonderful way of coming round and kicking you in the balls. It's how you bounce back from that. It is about the tough times and how you deal with them. That is what you prepare for mentally. You don't prepare mentally for making great saves, playing the perfect game. You prepare for trauma.'
Capello has constantly kept his players waiting until a couple of hours before kick-off time before telling them who will be starting matches.
Former Scotland goalkeeper Bob Wilson said yesterday it could have been a factor. But Green, who was preferred to David James and Joe Hart, insisted: 'Only knowing two hours before the game is not a problem.
'You prepare as though you're playing. If you don't, that's the mistake. The other guys prepared as though they were playing and we will again for Friday.
'You prepare for Friday as though you are playing again. It's not a surprise when you are playing then. It's not a problem, it's not an issue, you deal with it. It's fine, you carry on.'
Green added: 'I'm also not blaming the ball. It's had a lot of criticism but I should have stopped it. There's no two ways about it.
'It's a shot from I don't know how many yards out that I should have stopped and that I will do time and time again in training.
'It's obviously a genuine, horrible mistake but it's something to deal with.'