Tottenham Hotspur travel to Newcastle United today for the Portuguese's first competitive game since replacing Harry Redknapp at the North London club.
Dawson said that Villas-Boas's enthusiasm has struck a chord with the squad and has freshened the place up.
The 28-year-old believes that there is enough quality in the Spurs squad to win some silverware for the trophy cabinet, as well as qualify for the Champions League.
"Every game you want to win. What he has brought to the football club is that he wants to win trophies," Dawson told The Sun. "You go into the start of the season and hope you can do that.
"We have got players in that dressing room who believe. We always want to improve. Andre certainly gets involved. He is enthusiastic - you see that from the way he is on the touchline. He came in and set high standards.
"Since he has come in he has been enthusiastic and wants to do well. When Harry left, the new gaffer came in and everybody starts afresh. You have got to show him what you can do. To be back in the Champions League is where we want to be, especially after playing in it two years ago."
Villas-Boas was sacked as manager of Chelsea in March after just nine months in charge.