Dawson demands Spurs discipline

BY foxsports • April 3, 2011

Tottenham's debut season in the competition had been characterised by a series of open and pulsating matches before they arrived at the last-16 stage two months ago. Then, under the bright lights of the San Siro, Tottenham put in one of their most gritty displays to beat Milan, with Peter Crouch scoring the winning goal that would see the club reach the quarter-finals after a goalless draw in the return leg. Dawson, who missed the group stages through injury, will lead Tottenham out against Real Madrid in the Spanish capital on Tuesday night and he thinks his team have to put in a disciplined display against Jose Mourinho's star-studded side in order to stay in the tie. "We're all excited. I remember before the AC Milan tie that everyone was saying they were going to the biggest games in the club's history and we did well to get through. Now we face Real Madrid," Dawson said. "It will be a fantastic occasion but we'll go there knowing that we've got to do the same job that we did at AC Milan and that's to make sure we're still in the tie in the second leg at White Hart Lane." Spurs have won many fans with the attacking style that saw off Inter Milan, Werder Bremen and FC Twente, as well as Milan, on their way to the last eight. Dawson has enjoyed the Champions League experience and is desperate for the club to come out on top in their battle for fourth with Manchester City in order to qualify for the competition next year. "The season after I arrived (2005) we just missed out to Arsenal on the Champions League when West Ham beat us but we played in the UEFA Cup and we've built on that," said Dawson. "Last season we achieved what we'd been aiming for (by finishing in the top four) and we're aiming to do the same this year. "We know it's a tough task but the rewards for doing well in the Premier League have been there this season with the experiences we've now gained in the Champions League. It's been brilliant and we all want to do it on a regular basis." Rafael van der Vaart will be making his first appearance at the Bernabeu since he left for White Hart Lane in an £8million move last summer. The Dutchman made 58 La Liga appearances for Real in a largely unhappy two-year spell at the club, but Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp insists his star forward has nothing to prove to his former employers. "Rafa is a top player and I'm sure he is looking forward to going back there and playing," Redknapp said. "He doesn't have a point to prove to them. He has been great value and he certainly has been a good buy, there's no doubt about that. He is a top player and we will need his experience and fantastic ability in Madrid." Van der Vaart's team-mate Luka Modric has been impressed by the effect that the 12-goal forward has had on the team. "Rafael's arrival has given us great motivation, he's proven to be a really great player," Modric said in Champions magazine. "We were playing well before we bought him but since he arrived we have started playing better. "He brought experience from his time at Real Madrid, has scored a lot of goals and has become one of the most important players for us."

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