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Dawson's delight

Michael Dawson was all smiles after returning to action against Chelsea, insisting: "It's great to be back!"

Michael Dawson was all smiles after returning to action against Chelsea, insisting: “It’s great to be back!”

The popular defender was back after three months on the sidelines and was handed the captain’s armband for Sunday’s 1-1 draw at the Lane.

He later admitted it had been a tough time sitting out key matches in both the Premier League and Champions League – not least having to watch us take on reigning champions Inter Milan in two fantastic European clashes.

“We worked so hard last year to finish fourth in the Premier League, the lads did fantastically well and to be part of that and then get an injury five games into the new season was hard for me,” he said.

“I’m back now and enjoying every minute.

“A lot of hard work has gone in to being back out there, a lot of work with the fitness coaches, in the gym, on the training pitch and it’s a great feeling to be back.

“There is no better feeling than training and preparing for a big game at the weekend. You get a good result and it’s great.

“I loved being back out there. It would have been even better if we’d held on for the three points against Chelsea, but it wasn’t to be.”