‘As bad as it gets’ – Aston Villa striker makes glaring admission
Scott Hogan has revealed his difficult spell at Aston Villa drained every bit of confidence he had.
The Republic of Ireland striker was considered one of the Championship’s most dangerous frontmen when Villa swooped to strike a £12m deal with Brentford in 2017.
But he scored just 10 times in 61 outings for Villa, and after spending the second half of last season on loan at Sheffield United, was in August sent to Stoke City for the rest of the campaign.
He admitted in an interview with RTE: “I had two years or so at Villa which, being honest, was terrible from my point. It was as bad as it gets. I had no confidence whatsoever after about six months. I just wasn’t doing the things I do naturally.
“You’re thinking about things in the game. You’re thinking, ‘I should go there’, but then you think, ‘If I do go there, I could lose it and they could go and score, then everyone is looking at me.’
“It takes a while to come back and the only way it comes back is through playing and scoring.”
Hogan has remained a key member of Ireland’s squad despite his problems at club level and will hope to score his first international goal when they face Georgia on Saturday.
The match comes after the 27-year-old hit Stoke’s late winner away at Swansea City last Saturday, when he kept to a promis he’d made to Stoke’s sport scientist Jared Roberts-Smith.
“I hadn’t been in the squad for four or five games, maybe, and I hadn’t been coming on at all for another four games before that,” said Hogan, who has previously revealed his intention to leave Villa permanently at the end of the campaign.
“He (Stoke boss Nathan Jones) named the squad and then he pulled me to one side and just asked me what was I thinking, what was I feeling? I said a few things to him.
“Then 10 minutes before the bus was leaving, the manager pulled me into the office and said, ‘Jared’s come over to me and said you’ve said this to him’, and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ve said that’.
“He slammed his hand on the table and said… I can’t use the language but, ‘Get on the bus, get your gear, you’re travelling’, and then obviously I was on the bench and came on and scored.
“But yeah, I sort of had a little go at him and it worked out.”