Hogg: I’ll be your middle man

Jonathan Hogg in action on his debut against Burnley in midweek
Jonathan Hogg in action on his debut against Burnley in midweek
Pompey defender Anton Walkes

Age no barrier in Pompey defensive make-up

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New-boy Jonathan Hogg has promised to add the bite to Pompey’s midfield and kick-start their season.

The loan signing from Aston Villa has vowed to bring a fire and commitment to his new side to get their campaign moving.

The 22-year-old agreed to link up with Steve Cotterill’s team until the summer on Tuesday after making his Premier League breakthrough this season.

Hogg went straight into the starting XI against Burnley, despite meeting his new team-mates just an hour before the game.

The combative talent could not stop Pompey’s winless run being extended to eight games as they delivered a lacklustre display.

But the Middlesbrough-born player insisted he would do everything possible to get his new side moving up the table.

And his role could be crucial in the rest of the campaign, with fellow central-midfielders Michael Brown and Richard Hughes set to move on after failing to resolve their contractual problems.

Hogg said: ‘I’ll bring pure hard work to this team.

‘I’ll work my socks off and do everything I can for the side.

‘I’ll run until I drop and I will put the tackles in.

‘I want to do everything I can to get this team winning again.

‘We have to get the club moving and put them back where they belong: in the Premier League.

‘Everyone knows about the fans and the fact they are brilliant.

‘You can see that the ambition is still there in the club.

‘These boys have experience and that’s something I want. So hopefully I can learn something from them and push on.

‘I’ve come here to play and play against the best sides.

‘I think we are one of the best, too. Hopefully we’ll prove that against QPR next week.

‘I just want to get out on the pitch, win games and help this club.’

Hogg’s presence adds another much-needed body to Pompey’s midfield.

He has picked up five Premier League starts for Villa – with his debut coming against Manchester United – as well as getting European action under his belt.

But he had no hesitation in joining the Blues when the opportunity arose.

Hogg said: ‘The manager didn’t have to say much to sell this club to me.

‘It’s got a massive history and has achieved so much.

‘The fans are brilliant and the club is huge.

‘I’m looking forward. I’m looking forward to getting a win in the next game and then going from there.

‘It’s about taking each game as it comes, winning each game.

‘Experience and regular football is what I’m looking for.

‘I want to pick up that winning mentality and I think I can do that here.

‘The club has history and I’m looking onward to being a part of things.

‘Hopefully we can get going and win some games.

‘With a few wins we will soon heading back towards those play-offs.’

Meanwhile, Pompey have been linked with a move for Tyrone Mears.

Steve Cotterill is said to be keen on the 27-year-old Burnley defender, who has 18 months left on his existing deal at Turf Moor.

Mears played a starring role for the Clarets in their 2-1 victory at Fratton Park on Tuesday night.