MICHAEL DAWSON last night admitted it would be a “dream” to make his England bow against Algeria on Friday night.
The uncapped Spurs defender could be thrown into the deep end by coach Fabio Capello and fill in for club mate Ledley King, who suffered a groin muscle injury in the 1-1 draw with United States at the weekend.
Dawson arrived late in South Africa as a replacement for the injured Rio Ferdinand, but now finds himself vying with Jamie Carragher and Matthew Upson for a place in the heart of England’s defence alongside John Terry.
“We’ll just have to wait and see,” the 26-year-old said. “You’ll just have to ask the manager. For me, it would be a dream to play but we’re just concentrating on training and hopefully I’ll do the best I can and we’ll see.
He added: “I’m excited for Friday and hopefully we’ll get a win under our belts. We got a point against the USA, we would have liked to get more, but it wasn’t to be. The mood is positive.”
Dawson also insisted the squad are not paying much attention to the attack on their style of play by German legend Franz Beckenbauer, who claimed their football had “gone backwards”.
“You can’t really take much notice,” Dawson added. “Everyone’s got an opinion. You look at our players in the England squad, it’s world class so we’ll just concentrate on ourselves for the moment.”
Capello, meanwhile, was given a welcome boost yesterday when striker Wayne Rooney returned to training after recovering from a slight ankle knock sustained against the United States.
He was joined by left-back Ashley Cole, who also missed Monday’s session after received rehabilitation for an old injury, although King sat out with his groin strain, which looks likely to keep him out for three weeks.
Honduras v Chile
Nelspruit, ko 12.30pm, ITV1
Spain v Switzerland
Durban, ko 3pm, BBC1
South Africa v Uruguay
Pretoria, ko 7.30pm, BBC1