Club News

Jones backs lionheart Dawson

While centre-half 'baffled' by disallowed England U21s strike

BILLY Jones believes Craig Dawson is showing all the signs of a player ready to establish himself in the Barclays Premier League – as the England Under-21s international admitted he was ‘baffled’ to have his strike against Italy last night ruled out.

Jones has successfully travelled the road from the Championship to the top flight over the last two seasons.

And he has backed Dawson to do likewise after seeing him impress in a loan spell at Bolton last term and against Manchester City on his return to the Baggies.

“If you’re playing regularly in the Championship you can prove yourself,” said Jones.

“Premier League teams look at buying the best players from the Championship and when ‘Daws’ went on loan to Bolton he was probably the best centre-half in the league because he played so well and was so consistent.

“Everyone saw the goals he scored and the clean sheets they were picking up and the wins they were getting.

“That will give him massive confidence. He’s never played in the Championship before so after going in there and doing well he probably thinks ‘I can perform well in this league’.

“He is a great defender and first and foremost he loves defending, getting blocks in and winning tackles.

“I think he showed that at Manchester City.

"He thrives from playing games and that’s what he wants to be doing every week.

“I’m sure he believes he is ready for the Premier League now and the challenge to push himself even more.

“He is obviously hungry like any player. We all want to play in the Premier League every week.

“You can tell he has come back with maybe more confidence and belief that he can go on and be a big player for West Brom in the Premier League.

“I imagine ‘Daws’ will be working as hard as he always does and staying professional to make sure he gets his chances and takes them.”

The Baggies centre-half has also established himself as a regular for Stuart Pearce’s Three Lions and was unfortunate to be denied a goal in last night’s 1-0 Euro 2013 defeat by Italy in Tel Aviv.

The former Rochdale man scrambled the ball over the line in the 48th minute but the effort was chalked off after an alleged push by Tottenham defender Steven Caulker in the build up.

The Azzurri claimed a late victory courtesy of Lorenzo Insigne’s 80th-minute free-kick.

Dawson said: "I didn’t think there was too much wrong with the goal  but it’s one of those things and the referee has obviously seen something that we didn’t.

“His reaction seemed a bit delayed but we realised that it was ruled out.”