Baggies back Dawson to shine
Defender in line to replace suspended Tamas against Swansea
Last Updated: September 14, 2011 11:58am
West Bromwich Albion have confirmed there has been Championship interest in Craig Dawson, but the defender is in line to replace the suspended Gabriel Tamas against Swansea City.
Dawson initially joined the Baggies in 2010 from Rochdale and spent last season back on loan at his former club in League One.
He has been on the bench in the Premier League this term and made his West Brom debut against Bournemouth in the Carling Cup last month.
The England Under 21 international has been linked with a loan move to the likes of Nottingham Forest, but Baggies boss Roy Hodgson is keen to keep Dawson in his squad.
The centre-half is now in contention to fill in for Tamas, who has been hit with a three-game ban, against Swansea and first-team coach Michael Appleton has backed Dawson to take the step up to Premier League football in his stride.
"Since coming in and building in pre-season I think Craig has come on leaps and bounds," Appleton told the club's official website. "He's shown that in the Under 21s' games.
"I think those games are a little bit different to league football. Obviously going into the Premier League is another step up again.
"International football is a little bit slower tempo and gets really quick around 30 yards from goal. But he did get tested in the two games at various times and although they were two decent wins in the end for England it is still great experience for him.
"He's been training well with the team and has been improving all the time. He's a young lad who is a good athlete and is always wanting to learn and listen.
"If he does get an opportunity on Saturday I don't think he'll let anyone down.
"There have been lots of Championship clubs interested in taking him on loan.
"It was only last season that Swansea were playing in the Championship. They've stepped up into the Premier League and they've asked questions of their players in terms of whether they can cope with the Premier League.
"They've done well so far so if Craig does get the nod I don't think he'll have any problems with it and I'm sure he'll deal with it in the right way."