Dawson: X-Factor can block Spurs' return to Wembley

MICHAEL Dawson is urging Tottenham to respect their formidable former team-mates as Spurs travel to Fulham in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday. The Lilywhites have won just one of their last nine trips to Craven Cottage...

By Ben Pearce

MICHAEL Dawson is urging Tottenham to respect their formidable former team-mates as Spurs travel to Fulham in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

The Lilywhites have won just one of their last nine trips to Craven Cottage, and fought out a tense goalless draw on the banks of the Thames in December.

Encouragingly, that solitary victory in west London came when the sides last met in the FA Cup, with the Lilywhites triumphing 4-0 in February 2007.


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However, Dawson is aware that Roy Hodgson's resurgent side - and particularly the Cottagers' dangerous ex-Spurs contingent - are perfectly capable of capitalising on their home advantage and sealing the spot in the final four.

"We went to Fulham on Boxing Day and whenever you go there it's always tough, but we went there a few years ago in the FA Cup and had a good win. Hopefully we'll have another good win there at the weekend, but we know it will be a difficult game," said Dawson.

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"Simon Davies was at Tottenham when I first came to the club, and Murph [Danny Murhpy] was here as well. I've played with Bobby [Zamora] at England Under-21 level but not when he was at Tottenham. They're good players and we know they're a good team.

"Bobby's definitely one of the in-form strikers in the Premier League at the moment.

Whenever you play against him you know it's going to be a tough. He's certainly on fire at the moment, scoring some good goals.

"I think you look at the way he holds the ball up, his goalscoring, he's a top player. You come up against so many of them in the Premier League so it's going to be another good test."

Dawson is fully aware of the prize that awaits the Lilywhites if they triumph at the weekend - a trip to Wembley in the semi-finals.

"We're 90 minutes away from Wembley. Let's hope we have another win and then we can look forward to a day out," he said.

"Playing twice at Wembley is better than playing once at Wembley, but when you go there you want to win the cup. If we go there in the semi-final we'll certainly want to go there and play again. It's not just one day out, it's cup final day that you want to be there, not the semis. You want to win the cup, it's as simple as that.

"This year you look at the teams who have gone out of the competition, but the teams that are still in will all be thinking the same as us. They'll all have a massive belief that they're going to go on and win the cup, so our first aim is to overcome Fulham, which will be a tough game.

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