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READY FOR BATTLE

Posted on 18 August 2006  - 12:00

Michael Dawson says we're ready for our tough opening day assignment in the Premiership at Bolton on Saturday.

Michael Dawson says we're ready for our tough opening day assignment in the Premiership at Bolton on Saturday.

We travel to the Reebok Stadium for a 5.15pm kick-off live on pay-per-view TV.

Pre-season has gone well with seven wins and a draw in eight friendlies and Michael feels we're ready for the challenge coming our way from Sam Allardyce's men.

"We've worked hard all pre-season and it's all been about the first game of the season and now it's just around the corner," said the defender. "The bleep test seems a long way away now!

"We've had a great pre-season, we've played well, the new lads have settled in and fingers crossed we'll now take that into the season.

"Bolton will be a tough test on the first day, we know that. Every team wants to get off to a positive start and we'll be aiming to come home with three points.

"We played very well at Bolton last season only to lose to a great goal from Kevin Nolan. We felt we had a good goal disallowed and football can be a cruel game like that sometimes. To be honest, I'd be happy to not play as well and come away with the three points!

"We know all about Bolton. They've a few new faces but they will play with the same formation and the same style and it's a battle. We know we will have to be at our best and be physically and mentally strong, but we will be ready for it."

Meanwhile, Michael was back in the international fold during the week after being selected for Steve McClaren's first England squad. He remained on the bench as Greece were toppled 4-0 at Old Trafford.

"It was a great experience to be in the squad," reflected Michael. "It would have been nice to get a cap but it wasn't to be and hopefully that won't be too far away. I'll just aim to continue doing well for Spurs and everything else will take care of itself.

"It was great to be thought of in Steve McClaren's first squad. As I've said all along, there are a lot of fantastic central defenders in this country and all I can do is keep doing what I've been doing."