'There's no greater feeling' - Leicester City loanee on silencing the knockers after slow Portsmouth start and Rotherham United struggles

George Hirst has vowed to continue proving the critics wrong.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 6:00 pm

The 22-year-old netted his maiden football league goal during Pompey’s 3-0 triumph at Lincoln on Tuesday night.

It represented his second in four successive starts for the Blues, after establishing himself with a string of impressive performances.

The Leicester loanee had failed to score in 43 league appearances for Rotherham and Pompey.

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Many Pompey fans had already written off Hirst, before he got a real chance to prove his worth with a regular run in Danny Cowley’s starting 11.

However, the former England youth international is now blossoming in John Marquis’ injury absence.

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Hirst admitted he had to be mentally strong during the difficult start to his Pompey career, but feels he doesn’t allow critics to affect his performances.

George Hirst's Pompey form has been rejuvenated. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com)

He said: ‘That’s what I signed up for, I don't ever look at that as a burden.

‘Without those pressures I don’t think there’s much point in playing the game.

‘Those pressures come when you’re doing well but also when you’re not doing well, so for me I use it as a bit of a motivation.

‘People will have their opinions, but it’s about going out there and proving people wrong.

‘There’s no greater feeling than going out there and doing that.

‘No doubt it has been a tough start here and there’s going to be those critics, but for me I don’t really focus on that too much I just go out there and do my job to the best of my ability.’

There has been a suggestion Hirst's season-long loan could be cut short in January, after his early struggles.

The front man revealed a lack of game time met he hadn’t met his own high standards, but believes the Crystal Palace under-21 game was the night he started to silence the doubters.

He said. ’I think it was a big game (Crystal Palace) for me to prove people wrong a little bit.

‘I almost had to show myself that it’s been a tough year and a half for me with regards to game time, and I’ve known that I’ve wanted to get in the team.

‘I am my own worst critic at times, but to go out there and use that game as a stepping stone to get into the first team was the best thing for me to do.’

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