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Hogan stepping up

31 October 2013

Defender settled into League football

Liam Hogan has reflected on life since joining Fleetwood Town in the summer from Halifax Town and believes he has stepped up an extra level since moving to the Fylde coast.

The 24-year-old versatile defender has made 14 appearances, primarily as a right back, since joining the club and has started the Cod Army’s last six matches.

Hogan played 80 minutes as Fleetwood got back to winning ways at York City – a result that moved Town back into the top three of the Sky Bet League 2 table – but he had his game cut short by a reoccurrence of a foot injury he picked up in training.

Despite going off, Hogan has recovered and has trained over the course of the week as Fleetwood prepare for the visit of Newport County on Saturday.

“It was a repeat of an injury that I picked up in training, Hogan told www.fleetwoodtownfc.com. “It was just a bang on my foot, but my foot went a little bit like pins and needles and I couldn’t walk it off.
 
“That’s unfortunate for me because I would have loved to have finished the game and seen it out but I had to come off. There’s a little bit of bruising, but I have trained and I feel comfortable with it.”

Fleetwood manager, Graham Alexander, has consistently reiterated his desire to utilise his squad over the course of the season and Hogan believes it is a good ‘head ache’ for the manager to have two good players for each position.

“That’s the message that the gaffer has filtered down through to the lads that we are going to need the squad when it gets towards the business end of the season. 

“We need players who have played games. There isn’t a lot between myself and Conor (McLaughlin) and both of us could hold down the first team shirt. 

“It is fantastic that we have got two good players for each position, that gives the gaffer a little bit of a head ache, obviously a good one for him, and it keeps the squad fresh. 

“When he needs to change it, he will be able to bring in players he can rely on.

“Being in the starting 11 and being involved in the game, it feels a whole lot better being involved when you’re on the pitch.
 
“The lads who come on, whether it be Conor or Junior to see out the game, it is still an important role here at the club. It will be fantastic if I can keep the shirt, but if not, I will be supporting the lads in the next couple of games and hopefully I will be able to get the shirt again.”

Fleetwood’s 2-0 victory over York City ended a run of three games without a win and Hogan was delighted to have helped Town pick up their fourth league clean sheet of the season.

“We have had a rocky couple of games, we had the away game at Southend and then Scunthorpe and we thought that we shouldn’t of come away with the two defeats. 

“We upped the performance on Saturday and changed our game a little bit and we was more comfortable with getting on the ball. 

“We have scored two good goals, probably could have a more than that, and at the other end, we have kept a clean sheet, which we haven’t seen to many of yet this season.”

This season is Hogan’s first in professional football after rising through the non-league ladder – first with Woodley Sports and then Halifax Town – and Hogan believes the set up at Fleetwood has stepped him up as a player. 

“Obviously coming in full time this becomes what you are doing for your day job. 

“At Halifax, which is a fantastic club and gave me everything to be here at this club now, you go into games in midweek and you wake up in the morning, come into your day job and your not getting the recovery you should do. 

“Here, you have everything in place and it just steps you up that extra level as a player and your development becomes a lot faster as well.”

Meanwhile, November represents a big month for Fleetwood as they look to progress in both the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and the FA Cup as well as also trying to maintain their automatic promotion place in League 2.

Hogan admits it is ‘exciting’ that the club have two-cup ties to look forward to, but insists Fleetwood are taking it one game at a time – starting with victory over Newport County on Saturday. 

“It will be great to push as far as we can; we go out every game to win whether it is the cup or the league, every game is important and we like to win. 

“We have seen the draw and we have got Gloucester, a team I am familiar against from facing them in the Conference North last season. 

“They play at Cheltenham’s ground and they have a nice little set up that they have got there and we will target progression through to the next round.

“The focus is on the Newport game, but it will be exciting to get a little bit of a cup run going.”

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