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Lokomotiv Moscow
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By ESPN Staff

Dawson determined to get fourth

Michael Dawson has insisted Tottenham have not given up hope of snatching fourth place in the Premier League.

Spurs' bid to secure a second successive season of Champions League football appeared to have been severely hampered when they lost controversially at Chelsea on Saturday before Manchester City won at Blackburn to open up a seven-point advantage with just four games remaining.

After winning just one of their last 11 matches in all competitions, Tottenham are even struggling to qualify for the Europa League after slipping to sixth in the table.

Failure to beat Blackpool on Saturday could signal the end of their top-four hopes, and even victory would leave them still needing to win at City on Tuesday to stand any chance of a remarkable fightback, but Dawson told Spurs TV Online: "We're still in that hunt for fourth spot and we won't be giving up.

"It's a must, must-win on Saturday and then we go to Man City to give them a good game and hopefully get the win there. We've got to concentrate on Saturday and make sure that we get the three points, which is a must. Nothing else will be good enough for us."

Tottenham have struggled against teams in the bottom half of the table this season and were the last side to lose to Blackpool, who are on an eight-match winless run that has sucked them into a relegation dogfight.

"They'll be fighting as well, fighting for their lives, so we've got to be ready," Dawson added.

Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes may have been unlucky to have conceded a goal that did not cross the line, but his latest blunder gave the assistant referee an unnecessary decision to make.

Dawson said: "Gomes is a top, top keeper and he's pulled us out of trouble many a time. We've got to pick him up, make sure everyone's behind him. I've been in a position where I've made mistakes. Believe me, it's not nice, it's hard, and confidence can be knocked.

"We've got a big game on Saturday against Blackpool and the lads are certainly around him and we've got to make sure everyone is. I'm sure, come Saturday, he might be pulling us out of trouble."

Tom Huddlestone and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are extremely doubtful for Saturday's game and may even miss Tuesday's trip to City.

Midfielder Huddlestone is struggling with bruising on the ankle which went under the knife earlier this season, an operation which ruled him out for six months. Left-back Assou-Ekotto was forced off in the early stages against the Baggies with a hamstring injury.

Both are key players for manager Harry Redknapp, with the latter arguably more difficult to replace currently.

Sandro has done an excellent job filling in for Huddlestone and even scored his first Tottenham goal on Saturday.

Dawson said: "He's been amazing since he's come in. I think his performances in the Champions League certainly made our jobs a lot easier. He wins balls, he gets in amongst it and we see he can shoot as well after the goal at the weekend. He's a great lad to have in and around the team.

"He's still learning English but, I'll tell you what, he's a full part of the banter and everyone loves him in the changing room."

Redknapp plugged the gap left by Assou-Ekotto against Chelsea by switching right-back Vedran Corluka to the opposite flank rather than sacrificing the attacking threat of Gareth Bale, who can also play left-back.


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