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NO DOUBTING TOM

Posted on 10 October 2006  - 12:00

One of Tom Huddlestone's team-mates will keep a keener eye than most tonight as he bids to help England Under-21s overcome Germany for a place in the European Championship Finals.

One of Tom Huddlestone's team-mates will keep a keener eye than most tonight as he bids to help England Under-21s overcome Germany for a place in the European Championship Finals.

Michael Dawson skippered the Under-21s at exactly the same stage last season when England narrowly lost out to France over two legs for a place in the finals in Switzerland - leading the side out in the first leg at White Hart Lane is one of the proudest moments of his career.

Now Tom - who also played in the play-off last season - can go one step further.

He helped England to a 1-0 lead in the first leg at Coventry's Ricoh Arena on Friday and is likely to take his place in midfield again as Peter Taylor's squad defend that lead for a place in next summer's finals at Bayer Leverkusen's BayArena. The match kicks-off at 7.15pm UK time.

Michael lost out to a penalty five minutes from time in the second leg and recalled: "It was a great moment for me to lead the lads out at White Hart Lane, a very special night.

"But it was so disappointing to go over to France, play well and go out in the way we did.

"The lads got off to a shaky start with a draw at home to Macedonia but they showed their character to bounce back with a great win against Switzerland."

Michael has few doubts Tom will relish the challenge. "It's one of those games when you know exactly what you need to do - a little like our UEFA Cup tie against Slavia Prague - and someone like Tom will get hold of the ball in midfield, settle everyone down and they will need that, especially if it's still 1-0 going into the final minutes.

"He's played a lot of games at that level, played last season, so he knows what it's all about. Fingers crossed they'll make it through to the finals."

"He's played a lot of games at that level, played last season, so he knows what it's all about." Michael Dawson on Tom Huddlestone.