Stuart Pearce declares David James is capable of regaining his England spot despite dropping into the Championship with Bristol City at the age of 40.
He believes James will have been "hurt" to be overlooked for the friendly international with Hungary at Wembley on Wednesday.
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."'
Pearce was unsurprised by James' decision to move to Ashton Gate after two decades of top-flight football.
He said: "David is a flagship signing which has put the club on the map to push on for the Premier League.
"I wasn't surprised he signed totally. He is 40 and extremely fit.
"I worked with David at Man City and he wanted to leave to go to the south because of family commitments. Now he has done that with Bristol City."