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Good sign - Daws

Posted on 26 December 2010  - 12:00

Michael Dawson felt the Boxing Day win at Villa with 10 men for over an hour spoke volumes for the spirit in the squad.

Good sign - Daws

Michael Dawson felt the Boxing Day win at Villa with 10 men for over an hour spoke volumes for the spirit in the squad.

The team went down to 10 men after just 28 minutes when Jermain Defoe received a straight red card after an aerial challenge with James Collins.

We were already 1-0 up by then after Rafael van der Vaart slotted home Alan Hutton's cross.

The 10 men stayed in control for the rest of the first half and then broke away to score a memorable second goal midway through the second half.

Rafa released Gareth Bale, who carried the ball fully 70 yards before finding Aaron Lennon, he then rolled back for the Dutch star to find the bottom corner for 2-0.

Villa continued to put us under pressure but we stood firm until the 82nd minute, when Marc Albrighton's cross evaded the diving Collins and skidded into the far corner.

There was just one more chance in injury time and we held on for a deserved three points, stretching our unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions.

"We had to play with two banks of four with Rafa up front for so long and that just shows the spirit we've got," said Michael, outstanding in central defence alongside the returning Younes Kaboul.

"The manager said at half-time that we had to keep going and doing the same as we had been doing.

"We kept the ball well, especially five minutes before the end of the first half, but we didn't keep it as well in the second half.

"We showed the spirit and that was the main thing.

"The squad we have is fantastic. We are going places. When you go down to 10 men at Villa and get three points that is a good sign."