Stephen Dobbie: Let me prove myself at Swansea City
STEPHEN Dobbie has spelled out a desire to prove his worth to Michael Laudrup after claiming he was not given a fair chance by Brendan Rodgers last season.
The Scottish frontman marked Laudrup's first game in charge by netting a hat-trick in Saturday's pre-season friendly at Port Talbot.
And despite being linked with the likes of Celtic, Bristol City and former loan club Blackpool this summer, Dobbie has revealed he is focusing on re-establishing himself at the Liberty.
Dobbie, who has a year left on his Swansea contract, played a starring role under Rodgers as the club climbed out of the Championship two seasons ago.
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But he was a fringe figure throughout Swansea's debut Premier League campaign and ended up on loan at Blackpool.
"Personally I didn't think I got a fair crack last season so I've come back, worked really hard in pre-season and I want to show the new manager what I can do," the 29-year-old said.
"The season we got promoted to the Premier League I thought I was given a fair crack and I showed the fans what I can do.
"Then I kind of got isolated last year. But I've come back fit and hungry to show the manager I deserve a part in this team."
Dobbie is a player with undoubted talent and, as he proved in the memorable 2010-11 run-in, has the ability to unlock defences.
But former Swansea boss Rodgers felt he could not afford to include the former Queen of the South man in top-flight games.
Dobbie reckons Rodgers was wrong to take that view — and is determined to prove himself under Laudrup.
"I've seen a lot of speculation (about a transfer) in the papers but I've still got another year here at Swansea and when Brendan moved on my main objective was to come back and make sure I was ready for this pre-season, whoever the manager was that came in," he added.
"For me it's all about showing I can play in this team and in this league because I really believe in myself that I can.
''The team was doing really well last season and he (Rodgers) played a number of players in my position so I'm not one to grumble, if the team is playing well fair enough.
"I moved on to Blackpool but I know what I can do and I was keen to show it there again.
"The whole point of playing football is to get to the highest league.
''I did that with Swansea and I didn't think I got a fair crack last season, but this year I am making sure I am fit and ready to show I can play in this team."
Dobbie's treble — which included two penalties — plus goals from Leroy Lita and youngster Henry Jones, saw Swansea cruise home against their Welsh Premier League neighbours over the weekend.
They flew out to America yesterday for a 12-day pre-season tour which will include three more friendlies as the build-up to the new league season intensifies.
"It was good to get back on the pitch and try to show the new manager what I can do," Dobbie continued.
"He (Laudrup) hasn't said much to me yet but he doesn't know any of the boys so it's a fresh start for everyone.
"These games are great for the local teams and for us it's about getting fit.
"It's always nice to get a few goals as a striker,'' he added.
"Now I have to keep working hard in America to show him I can be part of this team."