The big man was outstanding for the first half of last term before injuries caught up with him - he only played eight games of 18 after January 1 including one game in eight weeks between February 24-April 21.
That was typical of a defensive line-up that changed almost weekly.
Deano reflected: "From a personal point of view up until Christmas, I was very pleased with how I was playing and things were looking good.
"But from there I picked up a few little, niggling injuries, different injuries and it was been one thing after another.
"It was annoying and frustrating because when the results started to go against us, I wanted to be out there."
Deano wasn't the only defender to suffer last season - Stephen Carr, Ledley King, Anthony Gardner and Christian Ziege all had at least two months on the sidelines.
He says a settled defensive line is crucial to our ambitions next term.
"The injuries haven't helped," stated the 29-year-old. "People think it's just an excuse but it's nice to get a settled partnership especially in the centre of defence.
"When I was at Southampton I played with Claus Lundekvam, we had a great understanding and we managed to field the same back four for 11 games - we kept seven clean sheets.
"You get to know someone's game, get an understanding there and it helps with the same formation and same players.
"Ledley King missed the start of the season and Anthony Gardner was unlucky, Christian Ziege as well. Hopefully next season we'll all come back fit and get settled.
"That's the base the rest of the team is built on, by defending well and keeping clean sheets because we've got the players who can create and score goals.
"We had some incredible injuries though, Christian, Jamie - important players who weren't just out for two or three weeks either."
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Dean Richards speaks from experience when he states the importance of having a settled defensive unit next season.