Dawson jets out to take over from injured Ferdinand

Yorkshireman Michael Dawson was just starting to arrange his holidays when he took the "crazy" call that has changed his entire summer.

Ditched from Fabio Capello's 30-man provisional World Cup squad by phone on Tuesday, if Northallerton-born Dawson had been as quick at filling time as Darren Bent – who was spotted at an NBA play-off game in Los Angeles on Wednesday – the 26-year-old might not be going to South Africa.

As it was, he was at home when he got the call to say Rio Ferdinand had picked up an injury in training yesterday, and he remained there until he was told a car was on its way and he was flying to South Africa last night.

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"It's a crazy game and things can change in a split second," Dawson said.

"One minute I'm trying to arrange my holiday, then I get a call asking if I was on holiday because Rio had pulled out of training.

"I said 'no' and then I was just waiting by the phone before getting a call saying I would be picked up in an hour. It's been a crazy day."

As someone who missed out on the 2008 Carling Cup final victory over Chelsea due to injury, Dawson knows how bad Ferdinand must be feeling.

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He is also aware that no end of kind words and attempts to drag the Manchester United man out of his despair will do any good.

"For Rio to get injured, there would be no worse feeling for him as a player. To miss the biggest tournament in the world as the captain, I feel for him," said Dawson.

"I missed the Carling Cup final in 2008, and there was nothing anyone could have said to me that could have made me feel any better. For Rio, the feeling will be the same.

"I've not had time to think about it but I've had call after call with people wishing me good luck," he said.

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"I know all the lads through having been with them for two weeks so I'll just be going out there and training as normal.

"I'll be going out there still having not yet won a senior cap, so what better place to get one if that was to happen.

"But I'll just go there and train like I do every day at Spurs and we'll have to see what happens."