Of his increasing involvement in the Chelsea starting team, James admits that even he has been surprised at his progress since recovering from a summer ankle injury, and claimed he is determined to repay the faith shown in him by manager Frank Lampard.
"It started off very slowly," he said. "I was injured coming off the back-end of last season and as I started to pick up and play games, everything has happened so fast. It took me by surprise - I knew I was going to be in and around it but I didn't think I'd be this involved.
"Frank is a club legend and to this day everyone still looks up to him. He's got a lot of advice to give to all of us because he played at the highest level so you have to listen to him. He's had a big impact ever since I got back fit. He's told me what I'm doing well and where he still thinks I can get better.
"I'm thankful that everyone believes in me here. I just want to play, give it my all and repay everyone."