Selling Dawson not a gamble - AVB
Andre Villas-Boas insists Tottenham will be able to survive without Michael Dawson should the England defender leave White Hart Lane.
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Villas-Boas stunned many Spurs fans this week when he accepted an offer from QPR for the Tottenham club captain.
A move to Loftus Road appears now to be in doubt after the Portuguese admitted on Thursday that the former Nottingham Forest man had failed to reach an agreement with the west London club, although there is still time for the likes of Sunderland and Stoke to firm up their interest in the 28-year-old.
Villas-Boas left Dawson out of the squad that travelled to Newcastle last week, effectively making him fifth choice centre-back behind Younes Kaboul, Jan Vertonghen, William Gallas and Steven Caulker.
Villas-Boas stressed he is not determined to sell Dawson, but should the defender leave, he insists he has no need to replace him as he has enough confidence in the other centre-backs within his squad.
"I don't think it's a gamble," Villas-Boas said. "We have four good players, it's already enough.
"We have Steven Caulker, who went through a fantastic Olympics and has gone into the national team in England, we have William Gallas, an experienced central defender with Premier League titles and World Cup titles, Younes Kaboul is a French international and Jan Vertonghen is a Belgian international.
"Dawson is an excellent leader of this dressing room, an excellent player, an English international.
"When I spoke to the player we had a good conversation because Michael has, obviously, high expectations to play.
"What I told him is I can't promise any player that he will be playing in two weeks' time, three weeks' time, four weeks' time. I don't know how it happens."
Dawson could make the bench for Saturday's game as Younes Kaboul is out with a knee injury.
Rafael van der Vaart is also likely to be among the substitutes, just as he was during last week's 2-1 defeat on Tyneside.
Van der Vaart has been strongly linked with a return to Hamburg, where he played for three years before moving to Real Madrid, but when asked whether it was his intention to sell the Holland international, the Portuguese said: "No, on the contrary. He's a player of great importance for us, a player I count on.
"I'm not sure if Hamburg are interested, but he's a player who at the moment is not for sale.
"Anything can happen but he's a player we are counting on."