World Cup 2010 – Green: Gaffe won’t affect me

England goalkeeper Robert Green insists he has the mental strength to bounce back from his goal-costing error in the World Cup opener with the United States in Rustenburg.

Green allowed a 25-yard shot from USA midfielder Clint Dempsey to slip from his grasp and over the line for the equaliser in a 1-1 draw.

Green’s error cancelled out the opening goal from England skipper Steve Gerrard and leaves the group in the balance for Fabio Capello’s side.

Green said: “It was a mistake. The important thing is not to let it affect you for however long is left in the game.

“That is what you prepare for mentally. You don’t prepare mentally for making great saves and playing the perfect game. You prepare for trauma.

“It is regrettable and not what you want to happen but that’s life and you move on, you hold your head up high and get to work in training.”

Green admits that such an error would have affected him more greatly earlier in his career.

He said: “It won’t affect me psychologically. I’m 30, I’m a man, and you have hardships in life and prepare for them.

“I’m strong enough to move on. At a younger point in my life it would have affected me more.

“But you hold your hand up and say ‘that’s gone, move on and don’t let it affect you’.”

Green admits that the World Cup ball may have had some influence on his error but refused to use it as an excuse.

He said: “The ball may well have moved. I don’t often miss the ball by that much.

“It may have moved quite a bit but I’m not looking to make an excuse for what happened and I hold my hand up and take responsibility.”

England midfielder Frank Lampard said: “We are all behind Robert, he is a fantastic keeper. Everyone makes mistakes and we are together as a team.

“It wasn’t the worst performance in the world but there is always room for improvement.”

Gerrard gave England the lead after only four minutes after taking a first-time pass from Emile Heskey in his stride before beating Tim Howard for his 17th goal for his country.

But Green’s horrendous error shortly before the interval earned the United States a deserved share of the spoils.

And Tim Howard, Green’s opposite number on the USA side, felt for his fellow keeper.

“Of course I feel for him,” said the Everton player.

“He has made a couple of really good saves and, as we have been saying all week, this ball is doing silly things.

“Unfortunately at this level, sometimes these things are going to happen. I feel terribly for him but when you are goalkeeping you have to have broad shoulders.”

PA Sport / Eurosport

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