Cotterill backs starlet to keep on causing a Pompey commotion

Jonathan Hogg tackles Ishmael Miller
Jonathan Hogg tackles Ishmael Miller
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It began with a whisper, developed into a shout and then blossomed into a bellow.

Jonathan Hogg is evolving into a roaring success.

Pompey fans are now sitting up with a start and taking notice of the unassuming midfielder.

And Steve Cotterill is convinced supporters will continue to be won over by Hogg every match during his Fratton Park loan spell.

The Blues head to Doncaster tomorrow with Hogg once again set to anchor the midfield.

The Aston Villa man is responding to treatment for a medial knee ligament tweak first picked up at QPR.

After a quiet debut against Burnley, the midfielder is steadily making a commotion.

Subsequent eye-catching displays against QPR and Derby have established him as potentially a key performer for Pompey.

Early days indeed for a player with just three Blues appearances under his belt so far.

But his manager believes Hogg’s presence will grow louder with every single outing.

Cotterill said: ‘Jonathan’s only a young boy but I think people will warm to him the longer he’s here.

‘He’s one of those players who will get noticed more over a period of time.

‘He is a right feisty little character. I like him.

‘The lad gives us that bit of snap and is prepared to put his foot in.

‘He made one brilliant tackle that was somehow a booking against Derby.

‘I also thought he set us a good tone the other night at QPR.

‘He doesn’t give a lot of respect to people who are bigger than him.

‘Jonathan might have just started it all off because he’s a tough boy.

‘When he tackles you, you know you’ve been tackled.

‘He puts some poundage behind his tackles.

‘At one point in that match he came up from a tackle with a black eye, I don’t know how.

‘He’s a strong boy, he looks like a little boy but he’s a strong boy.

‘When he takes his top off he’s got some muscles. When you see him out on that pitch, he tackles with everything and has got a big heart.’

Pompey beat off the likes of Leeds and Sheffield United to capture Hogg on loan until the end of the season.

There remains little chance of making him a permanent recruit, though, after he penned a new two-and-a-half year deal with Villa in December.

Still, with 17 matches left, he will be a crucial part of Cotterill’s efforts to lift his team up the table for the remainder of the season.

Considering the continuing absence of central midfielders Michael Brown and Richard Hughes, Pompey have been crying out for a tenacious replacement.

A total of 10 matches without a win since the duo’s contract problems came to light and ruled them out of action tells its own story.

And Cotterill is hopeful the presence of 22-year-old Hogg can inspire his side to end that dreadful run at Doncaster tomorrow.

He added: ‘I think Jonathan will do well for us between now and the end of the season.

‘He’s a young kid, he has brought some youthfulness to us, some freshness, some energy.

‘I think he will do okay. He’s a good kid and I like him.’