Ryan Nelsen made a positive start to life at Tottenham Hotspur after an impressive performance in Sunday's FA Cup fifth round stalemate with Stevenage Borough, according to Michael Dawson.

The central defender, who captained Spurs at the Lamex Stadium and lined up alongside the New Zealander in a three-man defence which also included Younes Kaboul, was full of praise for Nelsen's solid display, and added that he will be a useful asset at White Hart Lane this season in the challenge for the title.

"I thought Ryan was fantastic," Dawson told the club's official website. "We changed the formation a little, played myself, Younes and Ryan, he played in the middle and he was outstanding.

"He won everything in the air, was strong and played really well. He showed all his experience in what was a real test for us against a big, physical team."

Nelsen arrived in north London on January transfer deadline day, and was brought in to strengthen Tottenham's options at the back, as Harry Redknapp's charges look to sustain their push for the Premier League title this season.

After the weekend draw with their League One opponents, Spurs now face a home replay on Wednesday 7 March, with the winners of the tie facing Bolton Wanderers in the quarter-final stage 10 days later.

In the meantime, they return to domestic action with a north London derby against bitter rivals Arsenal, when they travel to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday looking to replicate the 2-1 home win from earlier in the season.

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