Pool star Dobbie was almost a Blue

Blackpool's Stephen Dobbie
Blackpool's Stephen Dobbie
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IF things had panned out quite differently, Stephen Dobbie, still on for a remarkable play-off treble, might have been playing in blue tonight.

Birmingham boss Chris Hughton has revealed he tried to sign the striker during the January transfer window.

So did Pool, and, like the Blues, were told by Swansea that Dobbie wasn’t available.

Fortunately for everyone of Tangerine persuasion, Ian Holloway chanced his arm again in March, and this time landed a frontman who is aiming for a third successive play-off promotion from the Championship after achieving it with Pool and Swansea in the previous two seasons.

“Stephen was one we were trying to bring in and, of course, Blackpool have benefited from that,” said Hughton, with understatement – Dobbie has blasted five goals in as many starts since joining.

“At the time, when I was looking to bring him in (January), Swansea didn’t want to let him go.

“It was a late decision by them, just before the loan deadline, that they decided to let him go.”

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As well as being a fan of Dobbie, Hughton is also keen on the man who manages him.

“I have known Ian Holloway for quite some time, and I get on very well with him,” added the Birmingham boss.

“He is how you see him. He is a footballing individual of great passion. He has been involved in the game a long time, and has great experience.

“And, certainly over the last few years, he has changed his football philosophy. That saw him get Blackpool promoted – deservedly so – and they graced the Premier League for a big part of that season.

“After the disappointment of coming down, he has got his team back in this position, and all that is very, very good management.

“He has brought in a lot of quality, and he has got experience that was not there before.

“There’s no doubt about his managerial credentials, and no doubt that we are in for a tough game.

“What’s the key to success for us? Winning over the two legs!”

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