Green hopes to keep hold of England shirt after USA gaffe

ROBERT GREEN wants to remain as England's World Cup No 1 despite his massive blunder in the drawn encounter with the United States.

The West Ham goalkeeper allowed an innocuous 25-yard shot from Clinton Dempsey to slip from his grasp and over the goal-line for an equaliser in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium last night.

It brought back memories of similar costly mistakes by David Seaman, David James, Paul Robinson and Scott Carson during the past decade when playing for England.

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James is now being made favourite by some bookmakers to reclaim the spot against Algeria in Cape Town on Friday.

But 30-year-old Green is keen for the opportunity to put right his mistake.

He said: "I want to put the mistake right in the next game. I'm mentally strong enough to play. I want to play in every game out here.

"I've made mistakes in the past, I love playing for my country and I want to represent them as much as I can.

"I know I'm going to get flak for it but so be it. Playing football when you are playing well is easy.

"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.

"The manager (Fabio Capello) was fine. At half-time, he said 'it is not a problem, move on' - and you do that."

Former England skipper Paul Ince suggested that he feared the worst for Green even before kick-off.

Ince, now working as a pundit for TV channel SABC, said: "Before the game, Green had his head down.

"He didn't look focused. He looked nervous which was understandable as he had only played 10 games for his country.

"You needed experience, he will be disappointed. He has made a big blunder."

But Green is adamant he is experienced enough to deal with the setback.

He continued: "I'm 30 years old and, as a man, you have hardships in life and you prepare for them.

"You've got to have a concrete head about these things and it is going to bring up issues in your life.

"But I'm strong enough to take it, strong enough to move on, and will do, and be ready for the next game if selected.

"I am sure at a younger point in my life it would have affected me more and I know it has in the past.

"You stay strong and take whatever is coming on the chin and know you are good enough to make a difference."

Green admits the clash with Bob Bradley's side felt more like a domestic fixture than a World Cup meeting.

He said: "It was a game containing a lot of English style players, a lot of Premier League players, including those in their team.

"It felt more like that than an international opening the World Cup.

"We've created a lot of chances but the game is decided at both ends.

"Through myself, and some good chances we didn't take, we could have come out with a better scoreline."