The first entry in Michael Dawson's new diary feature where the central defender offers previews, reactions and his take on the week's events...
PRE-SEASON is over, all the running and the fitness work from the first day back and you can’t wait for the season to start. It’s just around the corner now and that’s all good as far as I’m concerned. I’m looking forward to the season ahead and hopefully it will be a good one for us.
RUNNING out to packed White Hart Lane for the friendly against Porto on Saturday was something special. The game itself was a test for us and on a personal level, Benni McCarthy's a real handful, so it was ideal for me because I'd missed a couple of the games in South Korea against good teams after breaking my nose against Boca Juniors. Ledley King unfortunately missed out but it gave the chance for myself and Tony Gardner. We’ll have injuries through the season and different people will play so it was good we did well. No-one wants to see players miss games but competition is part and parcel of football and you get on with the job.
WE'RE ALL counting down the days to the start of the season at Portsmouth. Fratton Park is a tough place to go, it's the first game of the season and both teams will be full of energy and enthusiasm. Hopefully we’ll go there and pick up three points. It’s massively important to get a good start, three points will be a great result and give us a great lift for the rest of the season.
LOOKING at Portsmouth, Lua Lua is sharp and fingers crossed we won’t see that celebration! We all know he’s a quick player and we know what we’re up against. We've prepared well. In training we're working on team shape, different things. We’ve done speed work as well and you cover everything, one week you’ll come up against someone tall like Peter Crouch and then someone like Lua Lua, who is very quick. You practice and practice and make sure you are right.
WE'VE HAD some nice compliments in pre-season, the media has talked about us in favourable terms in their season previews and I think we now have go out and fulfil that potential. A club the size of Tottenham along with the players the Martin and the Chairman have brought in means we have to be in the top six. You look at last season, obviously the game at Middlesbrough was disappointing because that was the day where lost the chance to qualify for Europe. Now we have to make sure we finish in the top six. It will be tough, there are a lot of top teams but with the players here, we have to do something next season.