Club News

Irvine: Dawson is ready

Baggies boss confident centre-half is fully focussed following speculation

ALAN Irvine insists Craig Dawson is in the right frame of mind to face Sunderland in tomorrow’s Barclays Premier League opener (ko 3pm).

The former Rochdale man could start at centre-half, with Joleon Lescott ruled out due to a knee injury, and Gareth McAuley (calf) only seeing his first pre-season action in a behind-closed-doors Under-21s friendly with Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

Speculation has been rife in the media throughout the summer regarding Dawson’s future.

But Irvine is confident he is now fully focussed on the job in hand for Albion.

“I am confident now he is in the right frame of mind to play,” said the Baggies boss.

“Craig had a difficult first few weeks, not in terms of how he trained, he trained extremely well.

“There has been no problem whatsoever out there.

"It is more that when he was away from training he would come back in and want to know what was happening with him.

“I think he’s settled.

“He’s not come knocking on my door for a couple of weeks now, so I know he is perfectly settled and ready.

“He’s training extremely well, as he has done from the first day.”