Baggies boss happy to let Dawson shine at Reebok
WANDERERS loan defender Craig Dawson will not be recalled by parent-club West Brom despite his impressive form since moving to the Reebok in January.
The young centre-back’s arrival back in his native Lancashire has coincided with an upturn in fortunes for the Whites and helped them keep three clean sheets in the last four league games – all on home turf.
It is form that has endeared the 22-year-old former Radcliffe Borough and Rochdale man to the Reebok faithful with chants of “sign him up” heard in the recent away win at Barnsley.
Boss Dougie Freedman has already ruled out that possibility but both he and the Wanderers fans will be happy to hear West brom manager Steve Clarke confirm he will see out his three-month loan at the Reebok and stay until April 27.
Injuries could change things but, for now, Clarke is delighted his young defender is getting game time.
The Baggies boss told the Birmingham Mail: “He went there to play games. It is pointless bringing him back here if he is going to play (at Bolton).
“At the moment with Gareth (McAuley) and Jonas (Olsson) in good form and Gabby (Tamas) pushing behind them, I’m happy to leave Craig at Bolton.”
The improvement at the back saw Wanderers register back-to-back league shut-outs for the first time since May 2009, though they did get consecutive clean sheets in January 2011 against Wigan in the FA Cup and Wolves in the league.
They have not secured a hat-trick of clean sheets in the league for five years after goalless draws against Newcastle and Fulham were followed by a 2-0 win at Reading in February 2008.
They have the chance to match that at Ipswich on Saturday and skipper Kevin Davies said: “The manager has made some great signings, the likes of Craig Dawson have been brilliant.
“He’s scoring goals but at the back, for someone so young he’s very knowledgeable and says the right things to organise. He’s been a massive boost for us.”
Dawson has also added a goal threat at the other end with four in his eight games for the Whites.
And that has not gone unnoticed back in the Black Country.
Clarke added: “I think I’ll play him up front next year.”