By Tony Leighton
Irish midfielder Kevin Dawson is loving his first taste of English football and is hoping that his debut campaign, which only started in January, will end with a climb up to the npower Championship for his League 1 club Yeovil Town.
Dawson, whose brother Stephen plays for Barnsley, joined the Glovers from FAI League club Shelbourne in the transfer window and has played in every game since making his full debut in a 2-0 win at promotion rivals Sheffield United.
The 22-year-old midfield man's inclusion in the starting line-up coincided with an eight-match winning streak that established Gary Johnson's team as serious promotion candidates with a run that lifted them up to third in the table.
They then went five games without a victory, but they moved back into the Play-Off places with a 2-1 win at Notts County on Monday and Dawson is determined to now add achievement to enjoyment in the last few weeks of the campaign.
The young Irishman, whose fierce tackling has led to manager Johnson comparing him to his iconic countryman Roy Keane, told football-league.co.uk: "It's an absolute thrill to be playing over here, I'm absolutely loving it.
"My contract only runs until the end of the season, but I'm going to work as hard as I can, hopefully keep my place in the team and help us to get as many wins as possible and then, all being well, a new deal will look after itself.
"That would make it an extra special end to the season, especially if we can win promotion and that's the aim. It's in our own hands to reach the Play-Offs now, but we'll look to go for automatic promotion until that's out of our reach."
A top-two finish will more than likely be out of Yeovil's reach, but they are just five points behind second in the table Bournemouth with a game in hand - and with lots of against-the-odds results coming week after week.
Dawson added: "The gaffer's said to us that at the minute it seems nobody wants automatic promotion. We've been drawing games and then hearing that other teams we thought would win have lost, and vice versa - it's all over the place.
"That's why it would be extra special to get a good run going in these last few games, to really get a hold of it and take what we want. We needed to get back to winning ways, and after Monday I'm sure we will progress from here.
"With the results we've had recently, people could say that the pressure had got to us. But it's all about coming good at the right time, in the last five or six games of the season, and I think we are good enough to do that."
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