Dobbie at the double as Queens dent County title bid


IT seems impossible to believe there are not clubs looking at Stephen Dobbie in this transfer window. Anyone who has pillaged 32 goals in the space of just six months in one of the most competitive divisions of Scottish football has surely got to be worth a look, even if they did blow out 36 candles on their last birthday cake.

Any clubs wondering, however, if Dobbie could be the man to kick-start their season would likely be wasting their time. Firstly, there aren’t many in Scotland who could afford to match what are believed to be premium wages. Secondly, the player has already said he is content to stay in Dumfries unless boyhood heroes Rangers came calling. And so far there has been no sight of Steven Gerrard near Palmerston Park. Thirdly, Queens have no desire to sell their prized asset in any case.

Dobbie once again underlined his worth on Saturday by scoring twice and creating another in a 4-0 win over the league leaders, Ross County. The victory lifted Queens into the promotion play-offs and, on this form, you would not bet against them staying there. A Scottish Cup tie away to Dundee on Saturday also looks eminently winnable. Keeping Dobbie will be key to both those objectives and, as thing stand, he does not appear to be going anywhere any time soon.

“Any time Dobbie gets in the box you’re putting your house on him to score,” said Michael Doyle, who benefited from the striker’s assist to score Queens’ second goal on Saturday. On-loan Motherwell defender Barry Maguire got the other.

“Dobbs could have had a hat-trick on a different day, and when you’ve got a player like that in your team – 32 goals for the season – then you’ll always have a chance. His goal the previous weekend was a winner and he was superb on Saturday as well, including putting in the ball for my goal. He’s a step above the rest at the minute.

“There are teams at the top of Scottish football who are crying out for a player like that. The only thing that goes against Dobbs – and it shouldn’t – is his age. He’s 36 but he’s one of the fittest players you’ll ever play with and he works hard every day.

“He works well with the younger ones in the changing room and Queens are just happy to have him here. Throughout his career – and he’s had a great one, being at Swansea and the rest – his attitude has been to enjoy it. And Dobbs is enjoying his football at the moment.”

County have lost only four league games all season and this was by far the heaviest. After the match, defender Keith Watson said insisted side must do better of they are to remain in the title race.

“I don’t think we were anywhere near good enough,” said Watson. “That was probably the poorest I’ve played since I came to the club.

“We need to up our game if we want to stay up there.”

“We’ve got a break from the league now with a cup tie and we’ll need to try to put on a good performance in that one. We feel we’re capable of beating anyone but obviously it will need to be a lot better than it was on Saturday.”