11:37 9th May 2013
Defender hopes to lay down marker
CRAIG Dawson believes he is ready to take on the Barclays Premier League and hopes he can lay down a marker for next season in the final two games of this term.
The England Under-21s centre-half returned from a successful loan spell at Bolton at the end of last month.
And he impressed in an unfamiliar three-man backline in his first top-flight appearance of the campaign in Tuesday’s harsh 1-0 defeat by Manchester City.
He now hopes he can play a part in the Baggies’ final two games at Norwich on Sunday (ko 3pm) and against Manchester United on the final day.
“I feel ready for the Premier League,” said Dawson.
“I’ve got some games under my belt now and hopefully I can play the next couple of games and put a marker down for next season.
“It was always something we talked about; to go away and play some games, come back and really push in the last few games of the season.
“Hopefully that’s what I can do.
“I’ll be working hard over the summer.”
The former Rochdale ace did not look out of place against Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko at the Etihad Stadium and relished the battle.
“It was nice to get a start,” he added.
“I think we played well as a team, dug deep and really, really put some pressure on them at the end.
“I found out a few days before I’d be starting.
“In training we worked on the shape and the patterns of play.
“It was a nice chance to play 90 minutes.
“It’s was a great challenge and a great game to come into.
“They were champions last season and I knew it was going to be a tough game.
“I enjoyed it and I think we played really well.
“They’re a team of quality players and it was good to come up against them and really test myself.”
Dawson has thanked Wanderers for his time at the Reebok Stadium, which he insists was an invaluable experience to help him push Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley for a regular starting place in Steve Clarke’s XI.
“Gareth and Jonas have been top draw,” he said.
“They have worked hard, put in the effort, and it’s shown on the pitch.
“I’ve just got to keep working hard on the training pitch and show what I can do.
“I enjoyed my time at Bolton.
“It was the next stage in my development to get some games under my belt.
“I played 16 games and it made me come back a lot fitter and stronger.
“I’ve learnt a lot from playing Championship games.
“It’s improved my fitness and match sharpness and hopefully I can take that into the last couple of games.
“West Brom is my club, I enjoy it here, and night’s like Tuesday night playing against Manchester City is a great opportunity for me.
“Hopefully I can get more chances to play for West Brom.”