ALBION boss Gus Poyet has dismissed speculation over striker Stephen Dobbie’s future and revealed the summer signing from Swansea remains very much part of his long-term plans.
Dobbie has made only five starts since signing a three-year contract at the end of the August transfer window.
The 30-year-old Glaswegian has not been in the squad for the last three games against Derby, Birmingham and Blackburn and will be kicking his heels again against Arsenal in the FA Cup at The Amex tomorrow now that Vicente has returned from injury.
A recent report in a national newspaper claimed Dobbie had been told he can leave but Poyet said: “No, I haven’t talked to him, not at all.
“If I was talking to him in that kind of extreme situation the player would know first and I didn’t talk to him.
“I don’t think the chairman (Tony Bloom) has talked, because he’s not in England, and I suppose David (head of football operations David Burke) hasn’t as well, so no.
“When we got Dobbs we knew Vicente was not available, we knew we were in a very difficult situation with Macca (Craig Mackail-Smith). We didn’t know if he was leaving or not at 5 o’clock on the 31st (August).
“We used him as much as we could. Something is not clicking for him and the team and now that we have got Vicente back and other strikers it’s just a matter of numbers. I cannot play everyone.
“I am not bothered because he has got the quality and the idea is to use him at the right time in the right moment and for the team to click. At the moment it hasn’t but it hasn’t for a few. “The rest have been a little bit lucky because of their positions and they are playing.”
Albion were still waiting for international clearance last night for new striker Leonardo Ulloa to be eligible to face the Gunners. The Argentinian target man has already been forced to sit out the draws at Birmingham and Derby following his move from Spanish club Almeria.
Albion’s final game of the season at home to Wolves on Saturday May will-kick off at 12.45pm with the rest of the Championship programme to accommodate live coverage by Sky of the promotion and relegation issues.