Danny Cowley addresses Portsmouth loan future of Leicester's in-form George Hirst

Danny Cowley is adamant he wants George Hirst to fulfil his Fratton Park loan and stay for the remainder of the campaign.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 6:00 pm

And Pompey’s head coach is convinced parent club Leicester City are ‘pleased’ with how their striking asset is being handled.

Hirst arrived at Fratton Park in August on a season-long loan from the Premier League club, yet initially struggled to make an impact.

However, the 22-year-old has now started six of the Blues’ last seven matches in all competitions, netting twice, and establishing himself as first choice.

The Foxes possess a clause allowed them to bring him back to the King Power Stadium at January’s midway point, should they wish.

But Cowley is keen for the in-form Hirst to see out the duration of his loan with Pompey.

He told The News: ‘Sheffield Wednesday was George’s best home performance in the league this season.

‘He led the line well, brought us up the pitch, linked it, got down the sides, carried the counter attack and looked like he was going to score. He actually did everything but score.

George Hirst pressures Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell on Tuesday night. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘George is doing well, we’ve got him going with belief and confidence, which is so important to footballers. You can see what players are like when they don’t have it, compared to when they do have it.

‘We would like to keep George for the rest of the season, absolutely we would like to.

‘However, you don’t always have full control of their loans, you are always respectful of the parent club’s wishes.

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‘I think Leicester are happy (with the situation), certainly in recent weeks it has gone well for George.

‘We speak to Leicester weekly, we send them all the numbers, all the stats, and the little details, and I think they are pleased.

‘George is in a really confident place at the minute and hopefully he’s here for the rest of the season.’

It was 17 matches into the League One season before Hirst was handed his maiden league start.

That arrived at Wycombe in place of the injured John Marquis, with the Leicester loanee subsequently establishing himself as first choice.

Hirst then netted at Lincoln, representing his first Football League goal after 47 outings, including previous spells at Leicester, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham.

Then, on Tuesday night, he was Pompey’s man of the match in their goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday.

Cowley added: ‘George’s attitude and work ethic throughout, even when he’s not been playing, has been outstanding. He’s a really good kid.

‘He’s had to fight for this and, sometimes, that’s nice because it means that little bit more to them when it hasn’t come easy and they’ve had to dig really deep to make it work.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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