Leicester City striking arrival fires message to Rotherham critics as he delivers Portsmouth promise
George Hirst has vowed to prove the doubters wrong by ensuring the goals flow at Pompey this season.
And the Blues’ new striker has pinpointed Danny Cowley’s faith in his ability as a key factor in allowing him to hit the goal trail at Fratton Park.
Hirst yesterday sealed his season-long move to Fratton Park from Leicester City, as the club’s second signing of the week and 10th of the summer.
The 22-year-old made an immediate impact in the final warm-up game of the season, as a Pompey XI picked up a 1-0 win over Bournemouth under-21s.
Hirst grabbed an assist and caused the home side plenty of problems with his movement, link play and physicality.
The move follows a ‘difficult’ loan stay at Rotherham in the Championship last term where the 6ft 3in front man failed to score in 32 games, with 28 of those outings coming off the bench.
Hirst received flak for that return at New York Stadium - and has vowed to silence those critics at PO4.
He said: ‘This is a big season for me.
‘I want to get some goals and prove a lot of people wrong.
‘There are a lot of doubters after last season and that is a motivation for me, without a doubt.
‘There’s things on social media and people’s opinions.
‘Everyone has got an opinion, and I’d never knock anyone for having an opinion on me.
‘That’s how the world these days, but it’s just up to me to go out there and prove everyone wrong.
‘It was a difficult one last season, I didn’t feel as if I had that trust off the manager. It was a little bit of a difficult spell for me.
‘I knew what I could bring to the team, though, but I just didn’t get the opportunity to do that.
‘People will have their opinions about me as a player, but at the end of the day I know what I could’ve done and what I can bring to this team.
‘That’s why I have come here - I know the strengths I have can help this team with them.’
Despite being a sizeable physical presence, the early signs was Hirst will also bring a fair amount of mobility to Pompey’s attack next term and offer an outlet with his feet as well as head.
The former Sheffield Wednesday man feels Cowley can see those assets and can give him confidence, in a way which was missing under Paul Warne at the New York Stadium.
Hirst added: ‘As a striker it’s huge to have a manager who believes in you.
‘The gaffer here is confident in what I can do and what I can bring to the team.
‘I don’t think you’ll find a striker in the world who will score every single game.
‘It’s about having that backing that if you don’t score in a game or two, the trust from the management is going to come.
‘You might have one off your backside and then you’re back up and running.
‘For me that belief and trust from the manager is huge.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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