Iron manager Russ Wilcox has said he didn’t have to think twice about recalling defender Andy Dawson to the starting line up for last Saturday’s home draw with Northampton.The former Hull City left-back made his first appearance for the Iron since start since he injured his hip during the 4-0 away thrashing of Rochdale back in November.
Dawson had been an unused substitute for the last three matches, but Wilcox felt the time was right to put him back in the side – especially after he played 45 minutes in the reserves at Mansfield the other week.
Wilcox told The Iron Player: “It was great to see him back and he was already in my thoughts because I was looking at the way they were going to play.
“I thought the full backs were going to be the outlet for how the game would pan out."
“At the end of the day, he is a quality left back who is still hungry to play,” the United manager added.
“He still wants to do his coaching side but there is still a hunger to play. His drive and determination to still play is there.”
Wilcox added: “When I told him on Friday night that he was playing he acted like a kid in a sweet shop and that is fantastic to see from a professional who has played right at the top of the game for so many years.”
His first start for the club in almost four months saw Dawson start his 500th game of his career and Wilcox said that is an unbelievable achievement in itself.
“He is a top professional and he showed that out there today,” Wilcox said.
“What is impressing me more and more each day is his application, drive and desire to be a top professional.
“He still has all of those now even though he has dropped down to League Two.”
He added: “Dawson is such a committed player.”
Wilcox was also delighted to see winger Etienne Esajas back in the team albeit for just a couple of minutes – and he felt the he’d bring a lot to the side.
Esajas scored a brace for the reserves at Mansfield and in the process set up Callum Howe’s goal and Wilcox said he has been a complete professional as he bides his time to get back into the first team.
He said: “I’ve been looking for a number of ways to win a game and you make different substitutions and I try to be really offensive with them.
“Marcus has done a great job in that area of the pitch but you are hoping that you could get a free kick in shooting range or a corner that he can swing in.
“He might score with a strike from 30 yards out – the one he did hit in added time wasn’t too far away.”
Wilcox added: “But, he has worked hard to be back in the team having worked so hard during training. I always said to him when he first got dropped from the team – the door will never be shut on you if you apply yourself appropriately."
See much more from Russ Wilcox, Etienne Esajas and Andy Dawson on The Iron Player.