Steffen Freund says Michael Dawson still has a role to play at Tottenham

Michael Dawson: Tottenham captain is set to make his first appearance of the season against Carlisle

Tom Huddlestone: Midfielder has been assured that he has a future at Tottenham Hotspur

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Steffen Freund insists there is still a role for club captain Michael Dawson at Tottenham Hotspur as the defender prepares to make his first appearance of the season.

Dawson was handed the captaincy in the summer following Ledley King's retirement, but within weeks he appeared to be on his way out of White Hart Lane.

A reported £9million switch to Queens Park Rangers fell through and Dawson now finds himself as the club's fifth-choice centre-half under Andre Villas-Boas.

However, he is set to start against Carlisle United in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday and assistant boss Freund has challenged Dawson to prove his worth.

"He realises that he is not playing at the moment but things can change in football," Freund said.

"The most important thing is how he reacts and he likes to play for Tottenham.

"When you are a strong club like Tottenham there is a lot of opportunities. Andre said that from the beginning of the season.

"It is difficult for him because he is the captain of the club and he had an offer from QPR.

"We are always positive from that point and we talked about it openly. The players who are playing at Carlisle have to play well because we have a strong squad."

Tom Huddlestone is another player who saw a summer move collapse after failing to join Stoke City on loan and the midfielder is also set to feature against Carlisle.

Freund added: "Of course he has a future here.

"When you have a long-term injury - and I can say that, I had two cruciate ligament surgeries - it takes longer to come back.

"Tom was injured for a long time. Michael Dawson was for a long time injured.

"He is training well every day. To say he has had a long-term injury, he is looking really strong."