Hogan hoping for Fleetwood Town chance

Liam Hogan

Liam Hogan

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Defender Liam Hogan is hoping he can yet play a part in promotion success at Fleetwood Town.

Having seen his brother Scott already win promotion with Rochdale, the full-back is desperate to join him in League One next season.

And having made a rare start against Southend on Saturday, with Conor McLaughlin sidelined through injury, the former Halifax man believes his time has come.

He said: “When I came to the club I knew it was a fantastic prospect.

“Fleetwood are moving up the leagues and that’s what I want to do with my career.

“I would have liked to have played a bigger part, so would any player. Hopefully now my chance will come.”

It’s certainly an exciting time to be coming into the first- team picture.

Town are guaranteed fourth place and will learn after Saturday’s final round of league fixtures who they will face in the play-off semi-finals over the following two weekends.

And Hogan believes Town are best-placed to enjoy a Wembley triumph.

“We’re on a good run,” he said. “And that’s with us having to make a few changes. It just shows you the depth we’ve got.

“The lads might have been all doom and gloom at the weekend but they weren’t.

“We know we’re going to be the best side in the play-offs and we’re going up.”

And the defender had a simple message for his Highbury team-mates as the pressure mounts.

He said: “It’s just about keeping your nerve, keeping the bottle to the end.

“Some people say the play-offs are a bit of a lottery but you make your own luck.

“If we set out as we do, we’re strong as a unit and we know we’ve got an attacking threat. We will score goals.”

Hogan’s last start for Fleetwood before Saturday came in the 1-0 defeat at Mansfield in February.

That was one of the results which cost Graham Alexander’s men promotion – something Hogan insists couldn’t be said for their point against Southend last Saturday.

He said:”I thought we did well. We scored an early goal against a good side in good form.

“Unfortunately we conceded but in the second half we were the stronger side.

“We’ve tried to push them, give ourselves a good chance of automatic, but it just wasn’t to be.”

The defender certainly wasn’t to blame for Southend’s equaliser, a Barry Corr header straight from a corner.

But it didn’t stop the 25-year-old from passing judgment on his defensive colleagues.

“We just needed someone to be really decisive,” he said, “somebody to take control of the situation. Nobody did that.

“It’s caused a bit of confusion and their striker has taken a gamble on it.

“We’re not happy conceding that goal but at least we didn’t fall to pieces.

“We came out and went looking for that winning goal. It just didn’t come.”

McLaughlin may not be risked for Saturday’s trip to Chesterfield, where there is nothing at stake for Town, though their hosts will be looking to secure the title.

But with his fellow right-back newly crowned players’ player of the year at Highbury, Hogan realises he faces a tough job to stay in the side for the play-offs.

“It’s a massive task,” he said. “All credit to Conor for being so consistent.

“He’s probably been one of the three best players we’ve had this season.

“Week in, week out he’s been there. I’ve had to bide my time and wait for my chance.

“But when I’ve got the shout I’ve given it my all.

“It’s so frustrating sitting up in the stands or on the bench.

“But I hope Conor’s not got a serious injury. He’s one of our strongest lads and we need the strongest team on the pitch. That’s what we need to win promotion.

“But if I’m needed again on Saturday, fans can know I’ll give 100 per cent.”