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DAWS ON THE DERBY

Posted on 25 April 2006  - 12:00

Michael Dawson reflected that our offensive players rendered the defensive ones redundant for an hour or so on Saturday.

Michael Dawson reflected that our offensive players rendered the defensive ones redundant for an hour or so on Saturday.

For pretty much 70-odd minutes at Highbury, our midfield and attack were calling the shots and dictating the tempo of the game in a manner befitting the home side.

The shame of it all was our seizing of the lead was not followed by three points due to Arsenal's late leveller.

"It was a good game and the boys in front made it a little bit easier for us at the back," considered the powerful central defender. "We were disappointed not to hold our lead, but it was a great finish from Thierry Henry.

"We played so well for most of the game and, like I said, it made it easier for us because of the way the midfield and front boys played. We didn't have to much defending but, what we had to do, I think we did well."

Daws added that not having any reward for the considerable first half efforts at the break was something of a worry, but the team managed to come out and pick up where they left off.

"I think you are always concerned, we did a lot but didn't have anything to show for it. We had chances and it was still 0-0 and they were probably thinking they had rode their luck and would get a goal and win.

"We came out and played as well as we did in the first for 20 minutes of the second half. Luckily enough we got the goal and we were hoping we would hold on for everyone at the club and the supporters to have a fantastic day.

"It was still a good performance and a good result though, if we are honest."

Given the energy put into the contest, the team went a little into retreat after taking the lead. Daws suggests this is perhaps a natural reaction with something to protect deep into the game.

"At 1-0 up you know you've got to keep playing but you also know the gameplan of the opposition will be different because they have got to score a goal.

"You know you shouldn't drop too deep but when teams are going to come at you it is hard not to. Unfortunately for us, Arsenal got a goal late on and we came away with just a point.

"Going there and getting a point means we've got to win our last two games now and hopefully we can get that fourth place.

"We're just looking to do our job now."