Dawson: We must get off to a flier against Eagles
Michael Dawson knows Tottenham cannot afford yet another slow start to the season.
Thankfully, for those who are tired of the saga, talk of Gareth Bale will be put to one side tomorrow as Tottenham begin their Premier League campaign at Crystal Palace.
A foot injury means Real Madrid and Manchester United target Bale will play no part at Selhurst Park, where the home side will be looking to register the biggest shock of the opening weekend.
Recent history suggests Ian Holloway's side may have a chance of doing so as Tottenham have not won on the opening day of the season for the last three campaigns.
A poor start to last season, which saw Villas-Boas' men claim two points from three games, proved to be a hammer blow for the Londoners as Arsenal snatched fourth position by a two-point margin, leading Dawson to acknowledge the team must hit the ground running this season.
"We didn't get off to a flyer last season like we wanted to," the Tottenham captain said. "We showed strength, commitment and spirit to fight back, but if we had started better then who knows where it would have taken us? Hopefully this year we can get off to a flyer.
"Hopefully it will be the start of a great year that has more ups than downs."
While Bale's on-off move to the Spanish capital has dominated the back pages over the last few weeks, chairman Daniel Levy has spent almost £60million on new signings.
Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue have all joined the north London club this summer and are available for the trip to Selhurst Park.
Dawson has been impressed by the new additions, especially Soldado, who has scored 20 goals per season for Valencia in the last three campaigns.
"He can send you here, there and everywhere with his touches and movement," the England centre-back said. "He is a top signing and he is someone that I am sure the fans will come to adore.
Spurs have also been boosted by the return of Sandro and Younes Kaboul.