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Dawson's dream

Michael Dawson is hoping to fulfil a boyhood dream of lifting the FA Cup at Wembley this season.

Michael Dawson is hoping to fulfil a boyhood dream of lifting the FA Cup at Wembley this season.

Portsmouth stand in our way of a place in this year's Final and we take them on in Sunday's semi-final at the Home of Football.

The defender has some early memories of the famous stadium but admits getting the chance to play there himself seemed a distant hope back then.

Now, injury permitting, ‘Daws' will get the chance to run out onto the hallowed turf for a second time in as many seasons after starring in last season's Carling Cup Final defeat to Manchester United.

Having missed the previous campaign's memorable success over Chelsea in that competition, the 26-year-old is desperate for his own special day at Wembley.

He said: "You can tell everyone around the place is excited about going back to Wembley for what is a massive game.

"Last year was a disappointment to lose to Manchester United on penalties, and it was a great day when we beat Chelsea the year before.

"I have memories myself from watching big games at Wembley as a kid on TV, and the one that stands out is when Spurs beat my boyhood team Nottingham Forest in the 1991 FA Cup Final.

"I could never had imagined then that I'd be one day playing there as a Spurs player!

"I used to go on tours around the stadium as a kid when they let you walk up the steps and lift a trophy, but you never believe you'll actually play there.

"I was fortunate enough to play there last year but we didn't lift a trophy on that occasion, but hopefully we can this year.

"So let's hope we can win on Sunday and go back there for the Final on May 15."

And ‘Daws' is more than wary of a Portsmouth side for whom a Cup run has represented a welcome respite from the club's off-field troubles this season.

The defender added: "This is maybe the last chance for them to end their season on a high after everything that's gone on at the football club.

"As players, they'll just be going out there to enjoy the occasion with nothing to lose so we'll certainly have to be at our best because they have some good players."

Michael himself faces a late fitness test ahead of the big game having picked up an Achilles injury in our league win over the South Coast club a fortnight ago.

"I've been working in the gym since I picked up the injury and I got out on the training pitch today and it felt good. So it looks positive for the weekend."