Midfielder feels he has improved during his loan spell
George Dobson says he has been pleased with his own personal development during his time with the Saddlers.
The teenage midfielder has made 20 appearances since joining the club on a season-long loan deal from West Ham last summer.
And Dobson feels being in and around the first-team set-up has helped him improve as a player.
“I feel I have progressed a lot,” he said. “I have got a lot better as a player and I understand what I have to do to keep improving and make myself the best possible player I can be.
“By being here and seeing the older professionals and how they do it – and being in and around first-team football – I have definitely improved.
“I have seen how hard you have to work off the field to improve. Doing extra work in the gym and never being satisfied with okay.”
Having impressed as a second-half substitute in recent weeks, the 19-year-old was rewarded with his first start in three months against Fleetwood on Tuesday night.
Despite the disappointment of losing 1-0, Dobson – who netted his first career goal against the Cod Army in December – was pleased to be named in the starting XI.
“I enjoyed it,” the former Arsenal youth player added. “It was nice to be involved from the start. It’s been a bit frustrating not starting games but I’ve kept working hard to get in the team.
“It’s a lot harder to come on. When I came on against Charlton last Saturday the tempo was so fast and it takes time to adapt to it. And then you only have about 10 minutes to influence the game.
“It was great to get the start and I thought I did okay. But the result is the main thing and it was obviously disappointing that we didn’t get it.
“But now we are determined to work hard to get a positive result on Saturday.”
Tomorrow's opponents Southend sit just outside the play-offs in seventh, a point behind sixth-placed Millwall, albeit having played two games more.
Phil Brown’s Shrimpers are four points better off than the Saddlers – and Dobson feels a positive result could set us up nicely for the final seven games.
“It’s a game that could define the season,” he commented. “It’s going to be a tough game as they are a good team with good players.
“But if we bring our ‘A’ game to the table we will definitely be able to get a positive result which we can take forward into the last seven games of the season.”