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HOGG: CONFIDENCE IS THE KEY

31 October 2014

Midfielder Jonathan previews Saturday’s game with Forest

Jonathan Hogg believes that Town’s new found confidence is the main factor behind their six match unbeaten run.

The former Watford midfielder has featured heavily this season and says that he and his teammates should fear no-one ahead of Saturday’s game against promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest. 

“I’m not worried about anyone or any team. The way we’re playing, teams should be worrying about us,” Jonathan told htafc.com

“Lately we’ve gone in to games with no fear and that’s a massive thing for us, because we’ve got a lot of confidence players. When they’re confident, they play well.

“There’s a lot of belief in the dressing room before games; everyone’s up for it. It’s certainly a good atmosphere to be amongst at the minute.”

Hogg has been a key player for Manager Chris Powell since his appointment and he says the Manager has given the team confidence, as well as improving his own performances on the pitch.

“The Manager has come in, got the lads going and given us a bit of confidence. Everyone’s happy and smiling in training and we’re playing well; it’s good.

“This year was a big one for me because I had a slow start here last season; I’m not afraid to admit that. It wasn’t my best year of football so I thought I’ve got to really knuckle down and do what I’m good at. Now I’ve got to keep progressing.

“I’m really happy with the way I’m playing at the minute. The Manager has given me some confidence. He showed belief by putting me in the team every week, so I’m really happy with what I’m doing and what the Manager is allowing me to do. I’m enjoying my football at the moment.

“I’m playing with confidence. I’m getting up and down the pitch, which is something I’m good at, so I’m enjoying my football at the moment.”

Under Powell, Town have played various formations. Hogg explained that the Manager keeps the players guessing when it comes to team selections and systems.  

“It’s challenging because sometimes he doesn’t tell the team until the day. He keeps you on your toes!

“He’s not scared to change formation and we’ve got a good squad here that can do that. It’s not just the 18 that are in the match day squad - we’ve got 22 or 24 decent players, so he’s not scared to use them.”

Town have often operated with three central midfielders, and Hogg feels there is good balance in the team’s engine room.

“I think we’ve got a good blend. Conor’s really good on the ball and receives it off the back four to give it to me and (Jacob) Butterfield. Jacob is a good attacker and I’m the opposite; I’m a good grafter and I can win the ball back for the team. We’ve got a nice blend in there.” 

Town face Nottingham Forest tomorrow and could move to within two points of their opponents with a win at the John Smith’s. 

Hogg admitted that Forest will carry a big threat in Britt Assombalonga, joint-leading Championship goal scoring striker, but is confident they can keep their run of good form going. 

“I’ve played against Forest a couple of times in my career so I know what they’re about; they’ll be energetic and want to get on the ball. Hopefully I can get in between them and put them on the back foot. 

“(Britt) Assombalonga is there, and he’s doing really well so we’ve certainly got to keep him quiet. I know him from my time at Watford so I’ll be giving the defenders a heads up, because he’s a quick strong boy and he knows where the back of the net is. 

“We’ve done really well lately so we should be going in to the game full of confidence. They’re not on their best run of the season so I’m not sure if it’s a good time or a bad time to be playing them. Hopefully we can put on a performance for the fans and keep doing what we have been doing.”

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