IT is a good job Stephen Dobbie doesn’t mind being cast as a play-off specialist because that is exactly what he’s proving to be.
Dobbie will become the first player to win three successive Championship play-off finals if the Seasiders get the better of West Ham at Wembley on Saturday week.
He went up two years ago while on loan at Blackpool and did the same back at parent club Swansea 12 months ago.
And now, back for a second loan spell at Pool, the 29-year-old is on the verge of recording a remarkable hat-trick.
“I don’t know what it is about the play-offs but it is true that I do seem to like them,” said the frontman. The last two years have been brilliant and I have been lucky enough to have two successive trips to Wembley.
“To get a third is something you can only dream about and I feel very fortunate to get a chance to go back there. It is more than most players go there in a whole career.
“But I have only played a small part in Blackpool’s success. I only arrived here a couple of months ago and they were already doing really well in the league at that point.
“I’ve just tried to help as much as I can and hopefully I have done that.”
That much isn’t in doubt – Dobbie opened the scoring at St Andrew’s last night with his sixth goal in seven starts since beginning his second spell with the Tangerines in March.
“It is pleasing to score and as a striker that is exactly what you want to do,” he added.
“But we also have to pay tribute to the lads at the back because the way we defended last night was superb. Birmingham came back very strongly and they have players who can hurt you. So for our lads to do so well and make sure we didn’t go under at 2-2 just shows what character we have.
“It was a brilliant night but we now have to go to Wembley and make sure we get the right result there as well.”
Dobbie has a year left on his contract at Swansea but Pool, whether they go up or not, will make a bid to sign him on a permanent transfer in the summer. The frontman will cost around £500,000. And Swansea, who have survived in the Premier League, – will probably be willing to sell, unlike two years ago when Ian Holloway first tried to do a deal.
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