Hull City: Andy Dawson interview

Andy Dawson remembers the moment Hull City got promoted vividly.

But it wasn't when Dean Windass let fly with a glorious volley that broke Bristol City hearts at Wembley three years ago.

Nor was it the referee's whistle, ending 109 years of hurt for City supporters.

It was a matter of hours later, when a bleary-eyed Dawson made his way back to the team hotel, using the impromptu path of the golf course to make his way to his room.

The defender wasn't idly reminiscing when chatting to Yorkshire Sport, but more prompted by the memories of facing Bristol City three weeks ago.

That clash at the KC Stadium pales into insignificance when compared to that memorable day at Wembley, but the sight of the red jerseys was enough to trigger a trip down memory lane.

But almost immediately, the veteran kept his focus – and put the promotion-winning day firmly back where it belonged, in the past.

"It's one I'll never forget," Dawson said. "But obviously that's gone

now.

"They're distant memories and the most important one is the next match, so let's hope we can get more wins and start climbing the table.

"It's exciting to play at Wembley in front of more than 90,000 people – it's every footballer's dream and for me, that was no different.

"It was a great day and the emotions before and afterwards, when we realised what we'd achieved, was fantastic. it's a day I'll never forget.

"I was excited and confident – surprising really for a game of such stature with it being winner takes all.

"As a player I wasn't nervous at all and I couldn't wait to get out there and feel the atmosphere and the occasion.

"Luckily I was on the right side and able to enjoy every moment of it. It was an unbelievable blur. It didn't really sink in.

"We had our party after the game and I was up walking around the golf course at the hotel at seven in the morning.

"I think that was when it actually sunk in what we'd achieved. As a club and on a lot of personal notes as well, to get the chance to play in the Premier League was amazing.

"I'll never forget walking round the golf course and realising that it was such a great occasion."

Whisper it quietly, but the rumblings around the backroom of the KC Stadium are of another tilt at the play-offs.

Quirky midfielder James Harper said as much following the draw against former club Reading in midweek, but the more level-headed players in the ranks are somewhat more cautious in their predictions.

Dawson personifies that approach and the experienced left-back is just keen for the current crop of City stars to try to make any return to the Premier League possible.

They're certainly making a better go of it than at the start of the season.

Nigel Pearson's team are unbeaten in eight going into yesterday's clash against Leicester, five points shy of the top six.

New blood has arrived in the form of Aaron McLean, a reported 1.3m purchase from Peterborough. He is a player the manager hopes can fire his team further up the table.

Dawson, going into the new year, knows that that form must continue to make up for a dreadful start. Draws, like the one against the Royals, are simply not enough.

The 32-year-old explained: "We're on a bit of a run, but we need to start turning those draws into wins. Even though we've been on a run, we haven't really got anywhere in the table.

"We need to create more chances for the forwards but we've also got to keep solid at the back. It's no good going gung-ho and getting picked off and so chasing the game.

"I think the home game against Ipswich was perfect – it wasn't a great match but we were fairly solid and we believe that we've got players

who can nick games 1-0.

"Hopefully it's the same every Saturday."

City's Christmas period has been an enjoyable one to date, with the festive spirit well and truly on show in their last-gasp defeat of Sheffield United.

A long trip to Portsmouth tomorrow provides the opportunity to begin the year in the right manner, with everything from here on in focused on the dash to the May finishing line.

Dawson knows all too well the importance of impressing over Christmas and harks back to his side's promotion campaign to explain why.

"Without a shadow, it's a massively-important time," he said.

"We'll have had four games in eight days and like the season we got promoted, if you can go on a good run over Christmas, you can climb the table and you're up in the play-offs.

"On the other hand, you lose those games and you're in the bottom three so we know what an important period it is."

The past week hasn't been all about work, though, and Dawson, like the majority of players, has had the chance to relax from the rigours that the Championship brings.

There isn't much let up, though, with the turkey and trimmings soon left behind for Boxing Day action.

A seasoned pro like Dawson isn't complaining too much, as years of festive football have become the norm.

And the former Scunthorpe man is keen not to let the good vibes wane.

Dawson said: "Christmas Day, I've had a fantastic day with my family but as a footballer it's part and parcel and you don't do what normal people are doing.

"It doesn't bother me – I've never known any different, to be honest."