Tottenham travel to Cardiff on Sunday and Defoe gave manager Andre Villas-Boas a reminder of his potency ahead of the trip to Wales. The 30-year-old has not made a Premier League start this season but has now scored four goals in two Europa League games.
Dawson said: "He loves scoring goals. I see him on a daily basis and he is a top player and a top finisher. We have got a top squad here and whoever plays has got to perform and Jermain has done that.
"Of course it is frustrating when you are not playing. There is no player who will not want to play. You have to come in and train on a daily basis, work hard, and when you get your chance you have got to make sure you take it."