Dawson targeting England start

The Spurs centre-back bagged his first Three Lions cap during this

month’s friendly win over Hungary and has been selected by Fabio

Capello for September’s qualifiers against Bulgaria and

Switzerland. Dawson revealed he is delighted to be in the England

fold once again, after being an unused member of Capello’s World

Cup squad in South Africa. And with regular centre-back John Terry

ruled out of the international double-header, the 26-year-old

centre-back is keen to press home a place in the first XI. “When

you get a call-up for England it’s always a great feeling,” Dawson


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News Radio. “I finally got my first cap and it’s nice to be

involved in two massive games.” On his chances of starting Friday’s

Group G opener at Wembley, the former Nottingham Forest stopper

added: “We’ll just have to wait and see what the manager does.

“John Terry is out injured and I’m always hopeful of playing but

there are some fantastic players in the squad.” Dawson, who will be

vying with the likes of Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott, Gary Cahill

and Matthew Upson to start against Bulgaria, insists England are

ready to get their qualifying bid off to the best possible start.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game,” he said. “Bulgaria are a

good team but we’re always going to be positive of picking up three

points.” “We’re looking forward to hopefully qualifying for a

massive tournament and making sure we do well.” The Spurs man will

get his first taste of Champions League football this season after

Harry Redknapp’s side overcame Young Boys in their play-off to book

a place in the group stage of Europe’s top club competition. And

with White Hart Lane set to host Inter Milan, Werder Bremen and FC

Twente over the coming months, Dawson is excited about playing

against the continent’s elite. “Just to be in the hat last Thursday

was fantastic,” he said. “To finally get in the group stages of the

Champions League is a fantastic achievement. On the thought of

playing at Inter’s famous ground, Dawson added: “The San Siro it’s

a fantastic stadium and it’s going to be a good test for us and a

good night and I’m sure we’ll enjoy it.”