Fleetwood track former Pool pair

Blackpool's Stephen Dobbie

Blackpool's Stephen Dobbie

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Fleetwood are talking to two former Blackpool favourites as they look to finalise their squad ahead of the big League One kick-off against Crewe on Saturday week.

Manager Graham Alexander last week hinted there could be “one or two more”through the door at Highbury and he could be set to turn to Stephen Dobbie and Stephen Crainey.

The pair, both part of Pool’s promotion-winning side in 2010, have been the subject of enquiries by Fleetwood in recent days.

Dobbie, who lives less than half a mile from Fleetwood’s Ansdell training ground, is out of favour at Crystal Palace and could be available on a season long loan.

The striker has had four loan spells at Bloomfield Road, two of them last season when he fired the goals which would keep Blackpool in the Championship.

It’s understood Town approached Palace two weeks ago, though a number of Championship clubs are also interested in his services.

The 31-year-old’s wife and children are based in Lytham and the location of Fleetwood is believed to a major reason why he would consider a drop down into League One.

Blackpool also enquired about Dobbie last month but are yet to follow up on their initial approach.

Left-back Crainey is a free agent, having spent last season at Wigan (making 15 appearances) following six years at Blackpool.

The committed defender, 33, is another who is settled in the Lytham area and who would view Fleetwood’s location as a huge plus.

Boss Alexander would not comment on specific targets but confirmed Town are still open for business.

He told The Gazette: “I don’t think you ever stop looking for players 12 months a year – it’s the nature of the business.

“There have been loads of names bandied about and we get linked with a lot of players .

“It’s just par for the course But we are happy with the squad we have, so anyone else we brought in would have to be of the right quality.”

Speculation about an impending move for a striker was fuelled yesterday when Town released their squad numbers, with the no.9 shirt unclaimed.

However, Alexander warned against reading too much into this.

He added: “You can’t read anything into squad numbers.

“We have no number nine simply because our nine left last summer (Jon Parkin) and for no other season.

“Our other strikers are happy with the squad numbers they have. But if another forward comes in and wants the no.9, then that would be fine.”

Similarly, had an existing Town striker wanted to switch to no.9, that would have been all right by Alexander, though the manager says fewer players these days feel that holding a squad number from 1-11 gives them added kudos.

“We leave it up to the players,” he added. “Conor McLaughlin has gone from 15 to 2 this season and that was his choice.”