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DAWSON'S DOUBLE DANGER

Posted on 10 January 2006  - 12:00

Michael Dawson says our defence will have to be on guard tonight due to the attacking threat posed by Manchester City strike pair Andy Cole and Darius Vassell.

Michael Dawson says our defence will have to be on guard tonight due to the attacking threat posed by Manchester City strike pair Andy Cole and Darius Vassell.

The duo form a genuine partnership up top and have struck a real understanding since Stuart Pearce recruited them in the summer, with Cole responding to his new surroundings with eight goals and Vassell chipping in with six.

"I've played against them individually a couple of times before and know the threat," reasoned Michael. "Darius Vassell is really quick and Andy Cole has scored goals for years now. It will be a good test for us.

"They work as a pair which makes it more difficult, but hopefully we can keep them nice and quiet.

"It will be a tough, tough night for us all. We know what City are like, we know their strengths, but if we play as well as we can, fingers crossed, hopefully we can get the result.

Hopefully we can make it nine points and a decent enough Christmas programme for us

After West Brom we were all down but we went into the Newcastle game knowing we had to win it and we did. If we can do the same at Man City it will be great."

Another threat to our defences is sure to come from the in-form Joey Barton, the midfielder with five goals to his name already this season who, from recent footage, could hardly be described as shot-shy.

"There are a few calls for him to be in the England squad," added Michael. "We know what we are going to get from him, he gets forward, gets in the box and has plenty of shots. I played with him for England Under 21s and he is a tough player.

"We know City are a good team and we are going to have to play well."