Dawson desperate for top four
Michael Dawson is desperate for Tottenham to play in the Champions League again next season and knows his side must pick themselves up from dropping points against West Brom when they play Chelsea at the weekend.
Dawson suffered the agony of watching his team-mates take part in six enthralling group stage matches in the Champions League while he was sidelined with an ankle ligament injury.
He hopes to enjoy a full season in Europe's top club competition next year and has promised the club's fans he and the Tottenham squad will give everything they have to make it possible.
"We want to be in there again next season,'' Dawson said. "We qualified for it last year and that's our aim this year. It will be hard but we won't give up. There is still a long way to go in the chase and we have to keep fighting until the end.''
Spurs blew the opportunity to move level with Manchester City last week when they allowed the Baggies to steal a point through a late equaliser from striker Simon Cox. Following Monday night's 1-0 win at Blackburn, Roberto Mancini's side are now four points ahead of Spurs.
Dawson is desperate to play Champions League football next term after this year's debut season saw AC Milan, Inter Milan and Real Madrid come to White Hart Lane. The first hurdle towards achieving that goal comes in Saturday's game at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea will be looking to keep alive their slim title hopes with a victory. Spurs have not won a game there since 1990, but Dawson knows they must beat the Blues to keep up with City.
"We were gutted on Saturday,'' Dawson said. "We dropped two points but we have to pick ourselves up and concentrate on the massive game we have coming up against Chelsea. We haven't won there for a long time but hopefully we can put things right. They will still think they are in the title race and they will want to win every game to try and win the league but it's no good looking at everyone else. It's down to our form and hopefully we will get a result.''
Spurs secured Champions League qualification with a victory at Eastlands in the penultimate game of last season, and Dawson thinks the club's clash on the same ground on May 10 could prove decisive.
"We have some big games coming up,'' he said. "We go to City and it may come down to that like it did last year but Liverpool are on a great run too. They're only three points behind us now.''
Spurs are likely to find out on the extent of Benoit Assou-Ekotto's injury on Tuesday. The influential left-back was forced off after suffering a hamstring injury in the build-up to Peter Odemwingie's opener and will be assessed by the club's medical staff when he returns to training tomorrow.
Redknapp is already without defender Alan Hutton, while his replacement Vedran Corluka missed last weekend's game with a foot injury. Ledley King hopes to make his first appearance since October on Saturday after returning to light training last week following a long layoff with a groin problem.