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ROCHA PREDICTS

Posted on 5 June 2007  - 12:00

Ricardo Rocha predicts that Michael Dawson will quickly become one the top central defenders in the country.

Ricardo Rocha predicts that Michael Dawson will quickly become one the top central defenders in the country.The Portuguese international has been suitably impressed by the impact made by 23-year-old since he arrived from Benfica in January, the former Nottingham Forest man having played in 57 and a half of our games total of 59 in the recently concluded season.

Daws has been rewarded for his progress with an extension to his contract until 2012, while he was also named in the England squad for the games against Brazil and Estonia before being forced to withdraw due to a groin injury.

"He has been fantastic," said Ricardo. "I didn't know much about him until I got to Tottenham and took a view on all the players. He a young, fantastic player who has got into the squad of his national team and I think he has a fantastic future in front of him.

"He can be one of the best central defenders in England in my opinion."

Meanwhile, one downside of the just concluded season was the amount of goals conceded from set pieces. Ricardo said he has experienced a similar problem before, but is confident this avenue of goals will be cut off next season.

"At Benfica we had one year when it was the same. The pressure is enormous and we thought that every set piece wouldn't go right for us and we suffered the goals. I think it is a mental thing and concentration.

"The season has ended and we have to learn from our mistakes for the next one. If we cut them out we are one of the best defences in England. We can do it, we did at Benfica and we can do it here for sure."

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