Dawson: I'd never quit England

BY foxsports • May 19, 2011

Ben Foster last week became the latest player to make himself unavailable for his country after announcing he wanted to focus on his Birmingham career. Last year saw Foster's fellow goalkeeper Paul Robinson decided to retire from international football upon receiving a call-up, while Jamie Carragher did the same three years ago after becoming fed up with failing to break up the John Terry-Ferdinand partnership. That is something Dawson has succeeded in doing this season, with Ferdinand unavailable for several England games due to injury. Dawson has started two of the last three internationals, including March's European Championship qualifying win in Wales, where he partnered Terry after the Chelsea defender controversially reclaimed the captaincy from the injured Ferdinand. Ferdinand has since returned to fitness, helping Manchester United clinch the Premier League title and reach this month's Champions League final. With Fabio Capello having expressed doubts over Ferdinand's susceptibility to injury, the England boss must now decide whether to recall him for the hugely important qualifier against Switzerland on June 4, or allow the Terry Dawson partnership to develop. But even if he falls back down the pecking order, Dawson will not follow in the footsteps of Foster, Robinson and Carragher. "I would never do that," said the Tottenham star during a tour of the Heritage Museum of Vauxhall, who are official England sponsors. "I've got four caps. For me to play for my country, I've always said, is a great honour, and no better feeling than pulling that England shirt on. "So I certainly won't be thinking that." As Joe Hart's understudy, Foster's decision has arguably left England exposed in the goalkeeping department were the former to suffer an injury. But Dawson argued: "I wouldn't say that. "Ben made the decision and that's down to him. "Joe's number one, top keeper, a great lad. "But we've got other good, young goalkeepers coming through and I'm sure they're looking and thinking, 'I want to be next'." Dawson was more concerned about keeping hold of his own place, which he could justifiably consider his to lose after helping England to two victories in his last two games. "I wouldn't say it's mine," he said, pointing out the vast international experience of Terry and Ferdinand. "You can never say it's yours until you've got as many caps as they've got, and even still you can't take your foot off the gas. "You've got to keep putting in performances for your club, which they've done for many years, and on the international scene. "So, for me, I will hopefully do well in the last game for Tottenham and then be involved in the squad. And then we'll see." Should Dawson get the nod, he would run out at Wembley for the first time since making his first England start in September. The 27-year-old's dream night transformed into a nightmare shortly after half-time when his leg collapsed horribly beneath him in a freak incident reminiscent of Michael Owen's horror injury at the 2006 World Cup. Fortunately for Dawson, he was ruled out for only three months, although he did miss key games during Tottenham's unforgettable Champions League campaign. Dawson admitted fearing the absolute worst when he went down in agony. "I was, yeah, when I saw it after I'd done it," he said. "You always pray and keep your fingers crossed when you go for a scan the next day it's not going to be long, long-term. "Three months felt a long time to me but people were thinking it could be the season." Locked together with Montenegro at the top of Group G, next month's game appears to be crucial for England, who must still travel to play their nearest rivals. "It's very tight at the top," Dawson said. "We can only concentrate on what we're doing and hopefully get the three points against Switzerland." Dawson could line up alongside Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll on June 4, despite both having been named in the provisional squad for this summer's European Under-21 Championships. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Thursday that Wilshere was definitely in the final 23, although there is doubt over Carroll's participation amid reports he is concerned over his fitness. Wenger is opposed to Wilshere dropping back down to the under-21s but Dawson refused to be drawn on the issue, saying: "He's had a long, hard season but it's not for me to go into."


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