Dawson desperate for CL spot

Dawson suffered the agony of watching his team-mates take part in
six enthralling group stage matches in the Champions League while
he was sidelined with an ankle ligament injury. He hopes to enjoy a
full season in Europe’s top club competition next year and has
promised the club’s fans he and the Tottenham squad will give
everything they have to make it possible. “We want to be in there
again next season,” the defender added. “We qualified for it last
year and that’s our aim this year. It will be hard but we won’t
give up. There is still a long way to go in the chase and we have
to keep fighting until the end.” Spurs blew the opportunity to move
level with Manchester City last week when they allowed West Brom to
steal a point through a late equaliser from striker Simon Cox.
Following Monday’s 1-0 win at Blackburn, Roberto Mancini’s side are
now four points ahead of Spurs. Dawson is desperate to play
Champions League football next term after this year’s debut season
saw AC Milan, Inter Milan and Real Madrid come to White Hart Lane.
The first hurdle towards achieving that goal comes in Saturday’s
game at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea will be looking to keep
alive their slim title hopes with a victory. Spurs have not won a
game there since 1990, but Dawson knows they must beat the Blues to
keep up with City. “We were gutted on Saturday,” Dawson said. “We
dropped two points but we have to pick ourselves up and concentrate
on the massive game we have coming up against Chelsea. “We haven’t
won there for a long time but hopefully we can put things right.
“They will still think they are in the title race and they will
want to win every game to try and win the league but it’s no good
looking at everyone else. It’s down to our form and hopefully we
will get a result.” Spurs secured Champions League qualification
with a victory at Eastlands in the penultimate game of last season,
and Dawson thinks the club’s clash on the same ground on May 10
could prove decisive. “We have some big games coming up,” he said.
“We go to City and it may come down to that like it did last year
but Liverpool are on a great run too. They’re only three points
behind us now.” Spurs are likely to find out on Tuesday the extent
of Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s injury. The influential left-back was
forced off after suffering a hamstring injury in the build-up to
Peter Odemwingie’s opener and will be assessed by the club’s
medical staff when he returns to training. Redknapp is already
without defender Alan Hutton, while his replacement Vedran Corluka
missed last weekend’s game with a foot injury. Ledley King hopes to
make his first appearance since October on Saturday after returning
to light training last week following a long lay-off with a groin
problem.