Dobbie the final piece of Ollie’s jigsaw

Stephen Dobbie
Stephen Dobbie
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IAN Holloway believes he has the squad in place to give promotion to the Premier League a real shot.

The boss reckons Stephen Dobbie’s return to the club will rekindle the spirit of two years ago, when the striker helped the Seasiders storm to the top flight via the play-offs.

Dobbie scored six goals in that loan spell from Swansea, including a hugely important strike in the play-off semi-final at Nottingham Forest, and has gone straight into Holloway’s squad for tomorrow’s trip to second-placed Reading after rejoining Pool from the Welsh club for the rest of the season.

And Holloway is delighted to welcome back a familiar face. He said: “We all remember what Stephen did last time. He is a cracking lad and a very good player.

“He’s not been involved as much as he’d have liked at Swansea this year and they have been kind enough to let him out on loan.

“He certainly knows how to win promotion from this division because he’s not only done it with us, he did it again last year with Swansea.

“He’s got plenty of experience and it is a boost for our lads too, because it will bring back good memories of when he was last at the club and we had that great run of results to help us get up.

“Who knows if it can happen again and history can repeat itself, but wouldn’t it be brilliant if it did?”

The only concern about Dobbie is that he may be short of match fitness. His last game was three months ago, when he started in Swansea’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

Holloway missed out in his efforts to add Jonjo Shelvey and Luke Varney to the squad. Liverpool, still in the FA Cup and fighting for a place in Europe, didn’t want to leave themselves short for the remainder of the campaign, while Varney decided to stay at Portsmouth and wait until the summer to make a decision on his future.

Daniel Bogdanovic has gone on loan to League One promotion challengers Notts County. The striker, 32 on Monday, will be delighted to get some football after failing to break into the Seasiders team since his August move from Sheffield United.

He made just one start – in the 2-1 home win over Doncaster last October.