BARNSLEY: Looking back to take Reds forward

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BARNSLEY midfielder Stephen Dawson is confident of making a lasting impression this season.

Former Leyton Orient skipper Dawson was frustrated by injury last term after signing for the Reds in the January transfer window.

But the 26-year-old is now fit after a tough pre-season, which included a week-long training camp in Marbella.

“I’d like to think we can achieve a lot better than last year,” Dawson told The Star. “Hopefully we can do a lot better as a team

“It was a good six months to start the season, but unfortunately I wasn’t here for that. However, the other couple of months when I was here ... then I think we all know we need to do better.

“Personally, individually and collectively we need to improve because it just wasn’t good enough. You go back over the summer and don’t just forget about what’s happened.

“I like to go back and look at things which were good and which were bad.

“I believe we’ve got to do better, we’ve got to do a lot better than last season.

“The first part of the season was impressive, but the second half was nowhere near as good.”

Dawson featured 12 times last season and admits the loss of key players didn’t help the Reds, but stressed that’s no excuse for failiure.

He added: “I’ve got to be honest.

“I’m not going to make excuses about the players we lost and the games we lost.

“We lost three of our best players, but that’s gone now.

“Those three players have moved on to bigger and better things - and fair play to them because they deserve it.

“But as a group together, I believe we’re looking strong.”