Michael Dawson remains something of a lucky charm for Nottingham Forest, with there only one blot on his copybook through 16 games.

A familiar face returned to the banks of the Trent in the summer of 2018.

There were a few more miles on the clock, but the Reds had acquired themselves a vintage motor.

The hope was that he would park himself at the heart of the side.

Heading towards Christmas, that was very much the case.

A productive partnership with Tobias Figueiredo was being built.

Both then suffered untimely blows and were barely seen again.

Figueiredo is yet to take his Forest career full circle.

Dawson very much has.

Reliable

(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Back to full fitness, the 35-year-old has become a key component once more.

A reliable and assured presence in the middle of the back four, barely a foot has been put wrong in 2019-20.

A previously faultless record has been tarnished, but only slightly.

West Brom achieved on the opening weekend what no other side has done during Dawson’s second stint at the City Ground – record a win over the Reds.

That game aside, seven wins and eight draws have been taken in by a veteran performer.

In 36 outings without him, Forest have won only 12, come unstuck 14 times and been held on 10 occasions.

When Dawson is in the side, the Reds average more goals (1.8 against 1.2) and concede fewer (0.9 versus 1.2).

Unsurprisingly, with a win percentage standing at 43.8, more points are also averaged per game – 1.8 with him, as opposed to 1.3 without.

His value his obvious.

And that is before you take into account the fact that the captain’s armband has been passed back in his direction.

Example

 

Dawson leads by example, on and off the field.

He is a role model for those emerging through the academy system he once graced, and those already out of it such as centre-half partner Joe Worrall.

His importance to the collective cause should not be underestimated.

Pace has never been his greatest quality, so there is no real regression to be made there.

His is a game all about positioning and reading.

There is then his passing ability to add into the mix and threat from set-pieces, with a first goal for the Reds in 15 years recorded during an impressive outing against Birmingham.

Keeping him fit is clearly going to be key.

A 46-game Championship slog is a big ask for his engine and bodywork.

Class, though, is permanent and Dawson can be expected to remain a talismanic presence for as long as he continues to tick over and steer clear of any running repairs.