Tottenham do not fear Arsenal, says Dawson

Tottenham skipper Michael Dawson insists the club can approach Saturday's FA Cup showdown with north London rivals Arsenal with no sense of fear.

Michael Dawson of Spurs celebrates at the final wh

Less than three weeks ago, Spurs were a club in crisis, hammered by five goals on home soil by Liverpool, with their coach Andre Villas-Boas being castigated by large sections of their support.

It was hardly a surprise when the axe finally fell on the Portuguese coach.

Yet the response has been staggering.

Three wins and a draw over the Christmas period, culminating in Wednesday's 2-1 win at Manchester United represents a tremendous start to Tim Sherwood's managerial career.

It leaves the Tottenham camp looking forward to their trip to the Emirates with relish.

"We never go anywhere with fear, especially Arsenal," said Dawson.

"It's a north London derby. We know what that means to the fans and to the players.

"There's immense pride for all of us in pulling that white shirt on, playing for the team and each other. That's what we'll be doing on Saturday.

"Sometimes things don't work out as well as you'd like but that's when you've got to stand strong as a team and the quality comes out when you can show the determination we did on Wednesday."

Not everyone was convinced by Sherwood's appointment, believing a more experienced man was required at the helm.

The 44-year-old has done little wrong so far though, with his decision to bring Emmanuel Adebayor back into the fold now viewed as a masterstroke given the striker's contribution of four goals in five games.

"We've seen Tim around the training ground and some of the lads who've not been involved or been suspended have trained with him," said Dawson.

"I did before he came to work with the first team, so people knew what he was about and the style of football he wanted."

As Dawson points out, Sherwood has not done anything revolutionary, merely provided £28million man Roberto Soldado with some much-needed support.

"He's gone two up front, it's as simple as that," he said.

"He's got a style of football he wants us to play. It will take a bit of time to get used to but results over the last few weeks are showing the way."

And in Adebayor, Sherwood is getting the best out of a player whose performances, both with Arsenal and Manchester City, have tended to fluctuate wildly.

"I played against Ade many times before, when he was at City and Arsenal, and he is a handful," said Dawson.

"When he's on his game there are not many better.

"Since he came back into the team he is playing well with Roberto. They are working their socks off and we are benefiting.

"It probably scares the opposition when you are playing against those two. You know it's going to be a big test.

"Ade is a big strong boy and Roberto is so sharp around the box."

It has helped boost Tottenham when they appeared ragged, not that Dawson ever believed the situation was as bad as it was being depicted.

"We've never written ourselves off," he said.

"People can say what they want but we've bounced back from those disappointing results.

"We knew even then that we were still right in the mix.

"We are not going to get carried away just because we've gone to Old Trafford and won.

"We know we've got the FA Cup game against Arsenal and then Palace in the league.

"We'll keep plugging along, keep working and hopefully keep picking up results."

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