STRAFFAN, Ireland (AP) _ Europe's 1999 Ryder Cup captain Mark James hit back Thursday at Nick Faldo's criticism of his leadership last year and said Faldo was out of touch with European players.

Faldo said this week that a lot of players had asked for James' resignation as assistant captain for next year's match and as chairman of the European Tour's Tournament Committee.

Faldo was critical of James' book on the '99 Ryder Cup titled, ``Into The Bear Pit.''

``They are outraged,'' Faldo said. ``Mark is a captain who has gone too far. He has broken confidences and lost trust.''

``I don't believe he has support for one minute,'' James said Thursday, adding he felt Faldo was out of touch.

``I find it difficult to believe how in touch he can be when he hardly spends any time in Europe.''

Faldo plays primarily on the U.S. PGA Tour.

In the book, James said the team received a letter of good luck from Faldo ahead of the event at Brookline, Mass., and, that with the agreement of his team, he had thrown it away because Faldo had been critical of James for not selecting him as a wild card.

Faldo said this week he had received many phone calls from players supporting his position. He said players also had supported the criticism of James by Frenchman Jean Van de Velde.

Van de Velde, loser of a playoff for the British Open last year, wants James replaced by a European who would better understand the needs of non-British players.

A meeting of the Tournament Committee, of which James is chairman, has been called for next week to discuss the matter.

James also has been criticized in some quarters for breaking confidences from the locker room.