Michael Dawson welcomes 'fresh start' at Tottenham under Andre Villas-Boas


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The Independent Football

Michael Dawson is hoping a change of manager at Tottenham can also bring about a change in fortune for the England defender.

The 28-year-old, handed the captain's armband by previous manager Harry Redknapp midway through the 2009-10 campaign, missed most of last season because of injury.

From his position on the sidelines he saw his team-mates finish fourth, be denied a place in this term's Champions League because of Chelsea's victory in the final, Redknapp sacked and Andre Villas-Boas appointed.

The last few days have also seen new signings arrive at White Hart Lane and one, Belgium centre-back Jan Vertonghen, is a direct rival for his position in the starting line-up.

Dawson, having now recovered from the ankle injury that limited him to just 13 appearances last season, is determined to be part of the new era. "A new manager has come in and I'm just glad to be out there training and trying to show him what I can do, like everyone else in the squad," he said.

"To finish fourth and miss out was devastating but we start again. It's a fresh start for everyone and we want to make sure we are in the Champions League this time next year."

Vertonghen was lured from Ajax to improve the chances of that and will expect to be a regular starter. "In football there's always changes," said Dawson, who was speaking at the launch of the club's new kit, which is now being made by American company Under Armour. "There are players coming in, new challenges. We have signed Jan and he has been training with us for a few days – he's a top player.

"There is plenty of competition at the back but that's all good. The manager wants to win every competition so you need a good squad."

Younes Kaboul established himself in the heart of the defence in Dawson's absence while Steven Caulker impressed in a loan spell at Swansea. William Gallas and Sébastien Bassong are other options for the new manager but Ledley King's playing career could soon come to an end because of chronic knee problems.

"I can never speak highly enough of Ledley," Dawson said. "To play so many games with him was brilliant."


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