Dawson - Redknapp's belief is the key
MICHAEL Dawson is ready to use his return from injury to help repay Harry Redknapp for the spirit he has instilled at Spurs as they chase a top-four finish. Dawson missed the game at the Reebok...
MICHAEL Dawson is ready to use his return from injury to help repay Harry Redknapp for the spirit he has instilled at Spurs as they chase a top-four finish.
Dawson missed the game at the Reebok as he regains full fitness following five months of troublesome injuries, but now believes he is ready to make a return to the Spurs back-line.
Tom Huddlestone filled in at centre-back alongside Sebastien Bassong on Saturday, and while he earned praise from the manager, Tottenham were forced to endure some nervy moments.
Dawson's return, along with that of Ledley King, who is expected to recover from a hamstring injury in time for the Lilywhites' next match, against Portsmouth on October 17, will provide vital relief for Redknapp's stretched defence.
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And Dawson is quick to recognise the steel the manager has instilled in his squad of players, who the England man believes can mount a serious challenge for the Champions League places.
"He's your boss and he believes in me and you've got to believe in him. He's certainly doing a top-class job at the moment," said Dawson.
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"Since Harry came in he turned it round and brought a lot of belief to the players.
"You look at the squad we had last year, we had top-class players but we just weren't performing as individuals, and as a team.
"Harry came in and believed in everyone and I think now the lads are just going out there and playing with no fear and they're expressing themselves."
Redknapp will now be weighing up his newly-found defensive options ahead of the clash against his old side in two week's time, and Dawson admits he is desperate to get back out onto the pitch.
"It has been a hard few weeks for me being in the treatment room and working with the fitness coach," he added. "But it is part of football and I am just glad to be back.
"We've had a few defensive injuries, but we just have to deal with it. I've been watching the lads and I am itching to get out there again.