Nottingham Forest defender Michael Dawson has told the club’s official website that he is fit and raring to go next season following his hamstring injury.
The 35-year-old was restricted to just 10 games last season and hasn’t featured for the side since December when he hobbled out of a 2-0 win over Ipswich.
Remarkably the Reds weren’t defeated in the league when Dawson was present in the back four, highlighting his influence on the team.
Boss Martin O’Neill will naturally be buoyed by his return, and the veteran is eager to impress.
He told the club’s official website: “I trained for the last two or three weeks of the season which was great for the confidence knowing that my hamstring was right.
“I have been in a couple of times during the summer to check everything is fine but I knew that it was. It was never going to be a problem and I am prepared for that first day of pre-season.”
Dawson penned a two-year deal at the City Ground last summer and after missing a lot of last season, he is keen to hit the ground running when the players return to training.
He continued: “I missed large chunks of last season through injury so pre-season is a fresh start for everyone to come in and start flying. A good pre-season takes you into the season in good form and sets you up for the season.”
Seat Pitch Summary
The Forest boss would have loved to be able to call upon Dawson during last season when the going got a little tough.
Having him back this season will be a massive boost for Forest and the challenge for the coaching staff is to keep him fit.
O’Neill will likely go three at the back next season and having Dawson alongside Alex Milosevic and either Tobias Figueiredo or Yohan Benalouane would give the Reds a strong base.
Forest were flying when Dawson was in the team last season and it will be hoped he can have a similar impact next season, but over a longer period than 10 games.