Dolly Blues boss Mark Fell is hoping to see the very best of midfielder Paul Dawson next season
Lancaster City boss Mark Fell is a man on a mission when it comes to getting the best out of the enigmatic Paul Dawson.
The Dolly Blues boss believes the midfielder – who hails from the city – can be the focal point of his team and indeed has the ability to play higher up the football pyramid.
However, the 22-year-old former Morecambe academy graduate – who arrived at Giant Axe in the summer of 2019 – has not always produced his best form.
Often beset by physical and disciplinary issues, Fell has seen a difference in his maverick star during pre-season and is hoping that the forthcoming campaign can be the one where it all comes together for Dawson.
“With the exception of Rhys Turner, Paul is probably our best footballer in terms of ability, his tools, but he’s not been fit,” said Fell.
“He’s become a bit of a project for me. I have had conversations with him many times. He’s not had the mentality for it. At times, he’s been overly aggressive and has had a bad disciplinary record.
“But I tell you what, he has got himself fit, got himself sharp and he’s doing exactly what we are asking him to do.
“We have shifted that aggression to tenacity. When you have got a Paul Dawson, who is tenacious but not committing fouls, then Paul would be one of the first names on the teamsheet.
“He could be the difference for us. If Paul meets his potential and you have to remember he is still only a young lad, then we will have some player.
“He’s still got a lot of football ahead of him but his mentality in the past has not been right. I think it is right now and that maybe because he has just had a baby daughter.
“Maybe he’s grown up a little bit but if we can get Paul Dawson at his best – and we’ve not had him at his best – he’s got the ability to be the best player in the division.
“I genuinely believe that. I want him at his best because it will help us to succeed as a team but I want him to be the best player that he can be.
“We have seen glimpses of his ability in the past.
“He’s scored two hat-tricks for us from midfield and that tells you everything about his ability, but in the past his consistency, his discipline, has let him down.
“I am hoping the penny has dropped. I laugh and joke with him all the time, but I think we are getting to where we want to be with him.”
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