Carling Cup reaction

Dawson backs Tottenham to retain Carling Cup

November 12, 2008

Michael Dawson insists Tottenham can defend their Carling Cup under Harry Redknapp after reaching the quarter-finals with a 4-2 win over Liverpool at White Hart Lane.

Spurs were bracing themselves for a relegation battle before Redknapp's appointment less than three weeks ago - but five wins and a draw has sparked hopes of more silverware.

Centre-back Dawson, skipper against Liverpool, told Sky Sports: ''Of course we can do it. We showed that belief. Last year was fantastic and we had a great day at Wembley, and we wanted to carry that on.

''We don't become bad players overnight, and Harry's brought that confidence back.''

Redknapp added: ''If you're in it, you want to win it. I've sensed a strong desire that they want to win every game.''

Spurs were three goals ahead at the interval following a glut of goals just before the whistle, with Roman Pavlyuchenko opening the scoring and Frazier Campbell netting two, his first goals since arriving from Manchester United on loan.

''You can see why Sir Alex Ferguson turned down £7million for him from Hull,'' Redknapp said.

Damien Plessis and Sami Hyypia pulled goals back for Liverpool either side of Pavlyuchenko's second strike to maintain Redknapp's unbeaten record since arriving from Portsmouth.

''I should get out now, I've taken them as far as I can,'' Redknapp joked. It's been a terrific start but you know you'll have ups and downs. Saturday is a massive game against Fulham, there are 14 teams scrapping away and can be in trouble.''

Heurelho Gomes was carried off on a stretcher after taking a blow to the head but the injury was not serious - and there were still smiles in the dressing room afterwards.

''They are all enjoying it, when you are winning it's easy,'' Redknapp said. ''That is why we want to keep this run going.''

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez defended his decision to make 10 changes, leaving only Daniel Agger from the team that defeated West Brom at the weekend.

''I was happy with my selection,'' said the Spaniard. ''When you have two or three players not playing well, it's difficult for the others.

''Clearly the young players need to play more games like this - win some games and lose some games. We were not defending well. Three goals in five or six minutes is a massive difference, it's impossible. But if the team goes to Bolton and win we will be top of the table and talking about priorities.''

He added: ''We came here with players with the qualities for winning. It's a competition where if you cannot keep playing (the same) squad, you have to think about priorities, and the Premier League and Champions League are the priorities.''