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DAWSON SEEKS BRIDGE HIGH

Posted on 10 March 2006  - 12:00

Michael Dawson insists confidence is high over the challenge of seeking to take profit from the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Michael Dawson insists confidence is high over the challenge of seeking to take profit from the trip to Stamford Bridge.

We take on Chelsea in the 12.45 kick-off on Saturday at a venue where we haven't tasted league victory since February 1990 and where the home side haven't suffered defeat in the Premiership since February 2004.

It adds up to a tall order, as Daws is well aware, to better last season's 0-0 outcome.

"We know it will be a difficult game, they are top of the league and their form has been good," reasoned the central defender. "We are full of confidence after last week, we are going to go there to try and play the way we can and hopefully come away with something.

"We are fourth in the league and you've got to believe in yourselves. We are there because of what we've done this season and if we carry that on we can do well," he added, before - with particular reference to the reverse fixture at the Lane - agreeing that Chelsea are a patient outfit who are prepared to bide their time in looking for an opening.

"They are and when they came down here, for the first half an hour, we matched them in every area. Unfortunately Mido got sent off and 60 minutes against Chelsea with 10 men is tough - it is hard enough with 11.

"We still kept going and showed a lot with 10 men, with 11 we are looking to go there, put on a good performance and take something."

Daws knows Chelsea's three-pronged attack - of either Hernan Crespo and Didier Drgoba, with two from Joe Cole, Damien Duff or Shaun Wright-Phillips (Robben suspended) operating behind - can pose a puzzle for central defenders in terms of who to pick up or close down. He points out that there is another with a not bad scoring record who bursts through from midfield.

"It is not just them, there is Frank Lampard coming in with shots and you've got to get those blocks in as well. They are a top class team and everyone will have to be at their best."

We got back on the winning trail after two draws with maximum points against Blackburn last time out, a win Daws believes provided a timely boost to the players.

"It was a tough game and we knew exactly what to expect from them - they weren't three points behind us for no reason. It down to the way they were playing and I think it showed on Sunday, what a good team they are.

"It was fantastic for us, we got three points we badly needed. For us to go six points clear of them is great and the lads were absolutely buzzing after the game. We could have buckled after losing the lead, but we showed our character and went on to win."