Tottenham defender Michael Dawson hailed the debut of Ryan Nelsen in their FA Cup stalemate with Stevenage.

The All Whites legend won every aerial duel and was there when needed when Stevenage threatened in the second half, alert to follow in and clear the rebound after Carlo Cudicini spilled Joel Byrom's shot.

"I thought Ryan was fantastic," Dawson, who captained the side at Stevenage, told the Spurs 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."