Sunday 26 May 2019

Irish Villain Scott is keen to vent his frustration

DISBELIEF: Hogan reacts after his missed chance against Turkey. Pic: Sportsfile
DISBELIEF: Hogan reacts after his missed chance against Turkey. Pic: Sportsfile

Some FAI watchers were rather excited when striker Scott Hogan was named in an Ireland squad for the first time, at any level, 13 months ago, as he had been on Ireland's radar for three years.

A year later and it's still very much a case of 'Scott who?', as the player's career has not caught fire, with club or country.

A big-money move to Aston Villa (£9m) has not worked out and Hogan has not kicked a ball for the club this season, despite being fit for the last month. He says he was "hung out to dry" at Villa in terms of how they wanted him to fit into their style of play.

For Ireland, he has played just one game and is more famous for the chance he missed (away to Turkey) than anything else.


There's no doubt that the former Rochdale player has talent but he admits he's frustrated with how things are for him now.

"Ever since I signed for Villa, it's been stop-start for one reason or another, reasons I don't want to mention. It's just been stop-start," he says.

"It's slowed my progress down from Brentford where I was pushing my progress. I was playing week in, week out, which has always benefited me.

"I just want to kick-start everything really … just get going. I want to play regular because that is when I score; when I play week in, week out. Everyone has to kick-start their career. "

Hogan admits he was surprised to get the call from Martin O'Neill for this double header as he has not played a single minute of football for his club this term. He was injured early in the campaign but has been available, just not selected, in the last days of Steve Bruce's time there.

"For the past five weeks now, I wasn't selected. For what reason, I'm not sure, I wasn't told. I've been fit. There is nothing I can do but I'm here now," he says.

"If you have a reason why you're not playing, you can go and work on it, try and correct it. It is frustrating."

Hogan had a healthy goal average at previous clubs Rochdale and Brentford but seven goals in 50 games for Villa is a poor return on their investment, yet the striker says he's not to blame.

"I came to Villa, I quickly found out I had to change my game which I was frustrating because I was signed for playing a certain way, and the way I play is scoring goals," he says.

"And to go to a place, and then be asked to change, it was difficult. It led to less chances, less touches in the box. But I did what the manager asked me to do. It was frustrating."

Since Hogan made his Ireland debut away to Turkey in March, O'Neill's options up front have broadened as Aiden O'Brien and Callum Robinson have been capped, while Sean Maguire is fit again.

"I was delighted for him," Hogan says of Millwall's O'Brien and his goal away to Poland last month.

"A lot of lads have had debuts recently and a few have done well. I watched the Poland game, it was a great header but you don't think about that.

"I was thinking about it way before, that I (could) have scored it. But you can't dwell on it. Hopefully I get a chance to put one away if the manager calls on me."

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