Midfielder set for rare FA Cup outing at Grimsby
Jonathan Hogg will be hoping to begin his own FA Cup story on Saturday when Town travel to Skrill Premier side Grimsby in the Third Round of this season’s competition.
Although the experienced 25 year-old has made 137 career appearances in the upper echelons of the English League pyramid, only one has come in the FA Cup; Watford’s 4-2 home win over Bradford City in January 2012.
As a result, Jonathan’s overriding FA Cup memory is one of supporting his home town club Middlesbrough.
“As a fan, I remember watching Middlesbrough in the FA Cup Final against Chelsea in 1997,” Hogg explained. “It wasn’t a good day as a Middlesbrough fan as Chelsea scored after a minute! That killed us right from the start; after getting really built up for the game that happens!”
Town go into the game on the back of the narrow New Year’s Day defeat at Burnley, but Hogg was relatively happy with the team's performances over the busy festive period.
“We had some really tough games over Christmas, both home and away, but we’ve picked up some decent points. It hasn’t been a brilliant period, but it hasn’t been a bad one either; we’ve come through it quite nicely and we’re happy with our form going into Saturday’s game.
“The 5-1 win against Yeovil put a spring in everyone’s step. I thought we played really well, moving the ball and not giving them a chance. We were clinical too, taking our chances and scoring the goals that we needed to win.”
As well as being just his second FA Cup appearance, Grimsby would also become the first non-league opponent of Hogg’s career if he is selected. However, the combative midfielder is well up for the challenge.
He continued: “They will have nothing to lose, because we will be big favourites going there. In the FA Cup anything can happen, but we just need to go there and perform in the way we have been. If we do, we should get a result and move onto the next round.
“The management have done what they do best; prepared a team to go and beat Grimsby. We have to go and do that now. I haven’t played with or against any of Grimsby’s players before so it will be an interesting game for me.
“We have to go there with the right attitude. With it being the FA Cup they will be lively and their fans will be right behind them, but we are concentrating on doing what we do best – performing on the pitch.
“The winner could get a Premier League team in the next round and that would be a great test to see what level you are at. However, we have to focus on Grimsby. They will fight for everything and we have to go there with the right attitude.”
There will be no pay on the day for Town fans at Grimsby; get your ticket from Town’s Ticket Office now!