Dawson out to kick-start career
The Tottenham defender was a late replacement in the World Cup squad last summer for Rio Ferdinand after he withdrew with a knee problem. Dawson did not feature in South Africa but made his breakthrough in the friendly international with Hungary at Wembley in August. But his pride at making his competitive debut in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria the following month was shattered when he suffered ankle and knee injuries. It led to a three-month spell on the sidelines which not only curtailed Dawson's England aspirations but also ruled him out of the group stages of Tottenham's initial Champions League campaign. But now Dawson is back for Wednesday's friendly international with Denmark in Copenhagen and likely to earn a third cap alongside former skipper John Terry. Dawson said: "The timing of the injury couldn't have come at a worse time. "I got my first full England cap against Hungary after waiting a long time for it, and to walk out at Wembley for the qualifier (with Bulgaria) was a fantastic honour "I was alongside Phil Jagielka and we felt quite comfortable. Then 60 minutes into it, I did my knee and ankle which was devastating for me. "That night when I got back to the hotel, we thought maybe I was going to be out a lot longer than it turned out. "We thought I was going to miss the whole season but fortunately it was only three months. "It didn't feel like 'only' three months at the time. "It felt a lot longer and I missed lots of important games for Tottenham, with them being in the Champions League, as well as England squads. "But I worked hard to get back, feel great, and hopefully I'll get my third cap and stake a claim to be in the team." Dawson enjoyed his World Cup experience but wants to make a proper contribution in Euro 2012, if England qualify. He said: "It was eventful. The squad was announced on the Tuesday and I wasn't in it. But then football can change and it certainly did that in the space of 48 hours. "It was devastating to lose your England captain in his first training session in South Africa but I got the call and it was a fantastic experience. Unfortunately I didn't get to play but it was a great experience. "It has given me the will and drive to go and play in those tournaments, not to be there just as a squad member. "Hopefully in 2012 I will play a bigger part and do a good job for the country. I've seen what it takes to go away for a long time." Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker, currently on loan at Aston Villa, was one of the surprise call-ups but Dawson has no doubts about his potential. He said: "It is fantastic for Kyle. When we signed him, I thought what a talent he is. "He went out on loan to QPR earlier in the season and did fantastically well for them, left them in a good position. "Tottenham called him back and he went to Villa, a massive club, he has got a couple of goals, is doing well, and deserves to be in the squad. "He is quick, he gets up and down. He is a great player. "With myself and a few Villa faces here in the squad, he is nice and relaxed. "Is he ready for a debut? Why not. He is playing in the Premier League and is a fantastic player."