Simon Dawkins confused by his plight at Derby County

Derby County West Stand

The Jamaica international made just one appearance for the Rams over the first half of this season before returning to MLS in the winter to re-join the San Jose Earthquakes.

Former Derby County winger Simon Dawkins has admitted to The Telegraph that he was “confused” by his lack of action towards the end of his Rams career.

Dawkins, 28, originally joined Derby from boyhood club Tottenham Hotspur in October 2013 on a 93-day loan deal which later became permanent and went on to feature 73 times for the Championship side, recording nine goals and seven assists in the process.

However, after Paul Clement replaced Steve McClaren at the helm last summer, the Jamaica international became a peripheral figure at the iPro Stadium and made just one appearance in the Capital One Cup over the first half of the 2015-16 campaign.

He eventually left the team in January to re-join former club San Jose Earthquakes, but having played little football over the previous six months, the London-born attacker admits that he is still getting his feet under the table back in MLS.

"Personally, I think there is still a lot more to come from me,” Dawkins told the Telegraph. “I’m still getting back into the groove. I missed a lot of playing time at Derby and I am still getting back into it. The aim is to get better each game.

"It was very frustrating at Derby. My first two seasons I was a regular so I was confused as to why I wasn’t playing but that’s life and you move on.

"[But] playing with so many great players in England has improved me. Once I get into the groove I hope people here will see that.”

Dawkins previously enjoyed a productive two-year loan stint at San Jose between 2011 and 2012 while on Tottenham’s books, recording 14 goals in 53 regular season appearances and helping the club win the 2012 Supporters’ Shield title.

Now a Designated Player, the former Spurs academy product has had a fairly slow start to his second spell in California, having failed to score in five games and received the first red card of his career, but he is still relishing being back.

"It’s been great so far. It’s such a lovely place to be. The weather’s not been great yet but it will be. Hopefully we can repeat what we did last time I was here in 2012," Dawkins told The Telegraph. "I always wanted to come back. It was just about the right time. It was good to come back in my 20s rather than 30s as I feel I still have a lot to offer."

The Earthquakes currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to reigning MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers, having recorded three wins, two draws and one defeat in their opening six games of the 2016 season.

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