Wednesday 06 June 2012
Tottenham Hotspur defender Michael Dawson has pledged to come back stronger after suffering an injury-blighted 2011/12.
A damaged Achilles early in the season was followed by an ankle ligament injury, limiting the 28-year-old to only seven Barclays Premier League appearances during the campaign.
Dawson admitted that it was frustrating to watch from the sidelines, but said he had been working hard on his fitness with midfielder Tom Huddlestone - who has also been out of action with an ankle problem.
"We can now look forward to next season and coming back stronger"
- Michael Dawson
"I've certainly got to know Tom a lot better because he's hardly played at all last season so he's had it even harder than me," Dawson told Tottenham's website.
"As a result we’ve been working hard together but it's great that the two of us managed to get back out there before the summer break and we can now look forward to next season and coming back stronger.
"There's no doubt that the season is a long, testing one and you have to demonstrate mental as well as physical strength to come through.
"There's always pressure, high expectations, because this is a great club and that tough inner core is crucial at this level."
Dawson said staying positive while recovering from injury was difficult.
"The medics here are great and they try to keep you positive as well as putting you right. But I find it so hard. The worst thing is hearing all the banter as the lads go out to train and being stuck behind," he said.
He added: "As a footballer you are naturally programmed to want to play football and that is your whole outlook.
"So if that is taken away from you, particularly over a long period, then you have to find a different kind of mental toughness. You have to find optimism from somewhere but it is far from easy.
"You are frustrated but you have to stay positive and keep believing. In fact what else can you do?"