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FOOTBALL

James pays price for Danish defeat

LONDON, England -- Error-prone goalkeeper David James and defender Glen Johnson have been axed by Sven-Goran Eriksson from the England squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Northern Ireland.

Both men paid the price for their below-par displays in the 4-1 friendly defeat at the hands of Denmark in Copenhagen, England's worst defeat for 25 years.

Liverpool keeper Chris Kirkland comes into the squad in place of Manchester City's James, whose international future is now in jeopardy.

There was also a first call-up for Liverpool left-back Stephen Warnock and with regular right back Gary Neville sidelined by injury there is also a place for Charlton's Luke Young.

Eriksson wielded the axe after his team's second-half collapse against Denmark, when Johnson and James were two of the four half-time substitutes.

James, at fault for two of the goals, hardly helped his case by admitting that he had not warmed up properly for his appearance.

Charlton's Darren Bent kept his place in the squad, while Crystal Palace striker Andrew Johnson was recalled as Alan Smith, who rejected a late call-up for the Denmark game to improve his match-fitness for Manchester United's reserves, missed out.

Real Madrid's unsettled striker Michael Owen is in the squad although he is suspended for Saturday's match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff against Wales.

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