Keeper James feels Grant would have kept Portsmouth in Premiership
David James is confident Avram Grant would have kept Portsmouth in the top-flight if he had been boss all season.
Grant took over at Fratton Park from Paul Hart at the end of November with Pompey rock-bottom of the Premier League with just seven points from their opening 13 games.
The club have since had to wrestle with administration, a nine-point deduction and a further player exodus but Grant has still managed to lead the side to the FA Cup final.
The keeper told The News: "Avram is hands down the best manager we've had since Harry.
"That's not a direct criticism of any individual because the circumstances in which the managers have had to work under since Harry left have been difficult.
"But if Avram had started the season, things would have been very, very different.
"His methodology is very different to a number of previous managers and I am confident we would have stayed up, it's as simple as that."
He added: "Could any other manager have taken us to the FA Cup final like he has?
"I don't think another manager could replicate that achievement. I am not surprised other clubs are being linked with Avram, he is a very good manager.
"It reminds me of a lot of the players we have lost - Pompey's loss will be someone's gain for sure.
"To be able to motivate the team to go through what we've been going through and be successful in the FA Cup takes a lot of effort and, dare I say, a lot of intelligence.
"The man has been awesome and I have the utmost respect for him."