Centre-back hails Irvine influence
CRAIG Dawson has paid tribute to Alan Irvine and his coaching staff for his extended run in Albion's first-team.
The defender, who signed a new and improved three-year contract extension yesterday, is enjoying his most sustained spell of senior football since his move to the club in 2010.
The 24-year-old claims tutoring from the head coach and backroom staff Rob Kelly, Keith Downing and Dean Kiely has been key to his development since the summer.
Dawson said: “When you play games you’re able to express yourself and play consecutive games. It’s good to do that.
“I had a good chat with the gaffer in the summer.
“He has been unbelievable since he came in. He’s put in a lot of time and effort with me. He’s gone through videos with me.
“I needed to play football, the gaffer knew that and I got that opportunity with a few injuries we had in pre-season. The gaffer has put in a lot work with me and it’s good to have that opportunity.
“His staff Rob, Keith and Dean have also put the work in and time to try to improve my game. It was an easy decision to make for me (to sign a new deal), especially as I was playing games.
“His staff have worked after training, gone through videos and everyone has worked hard. For everyone at the club the option is there to improve.
“It’s important for me to keep improving. It’s nice to have feedback on where you can get better, where you can learn from mistakes.
“To get consecutive games has been important and really good. It helps a lot. It’s always good to look back .”
Dawson, who has started all six of Albion’s top-flight games this term, continued: “I just wanted to play football. This season I’ve been given a chance to play and that was the main thing for me.
“It’s hard when you don’t play. You work hard in the week, don’t get the chance to play, and it affects your fitness and confidence. Everything grows when you play – your confidence, your fitness.
“You never get a promise of football but I was told if I work hard, do the right things then I would get an opportunity to play.
“It was obviously a tough time in the summer. Speaking to the gaffer it was important for me to play games. That was the main thing really.”