Pearce was in charge of James when manager of Manchester City and also as one of the senior coaches in the international set-up in addition to his role as England Under-21 boss.
He believes James will have been "hurt" to be overlooked for the friendly international with Hungary at Wembley on Wednesday.
But Pearce has faith in James to recover from that setback.
He said: "You pick the best possible players. David played three out of the four World Cup games in the summer and, if his form is good enough, I think he'll fight his way back in.
"With David as well, he has always kept himself available to play for England.
"He is very passionate about playing for his country.
"Whilst it will have hurt him for a bit when the squad was picked and he wasn't in it, I am sure he will roll his sleeves up and respond.
"He will be saying 'I mean to make sure my form is good enough to have the opportunity to break back in."'