Hogg Enjoying Temporary Role
Thursday, 26th Apr 2018 16:50
Assistant caretaker-manager Chris Hogg says he’s enjoying his temporary role working with the Town first-team squad.
Hogg, 33, has joined Gerard Nash, who he usually assists with the U23s squad, as Bryan Klug’s deputies during the veteran academy head of coaching and player development’s four-game spell in charge of the senior side.
“I’m really enjoying it,” former Hibernian and Inverness Caledonian Thistle centre-half Hogg said.
“It’s not vastly different [from coaching the U23s], but it is in terms of doing press and other elements that I haven’t done for a while.
“But I just love working with players and I obviously love the game of football and whatever age you’re working with, whatever level, that is what it’s about - working with the players and trying to make them better as individuals.
“Obviously with the first-team environment within that team it’s been slightly different and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
He says he and his colleagues have been learning themselves while trying to improve the players.
“It’s great, it has been a really unique learning experience something that I know myself, Gerard and even Bryan himself didn’t necessarily expect,” he added.
“I think we’ve worked pretty well as a trio and I think life every day is a lesson and you’ve got to keep learning, and that’s the same for players and for staff here in the building, especially as a coach.
“You’ve got to keep learning, keep striving to be the best you can be and that’s the only message that we’re trying to put across to the players in terms of keeping in the present, not worrying too much about the future, but how you make yourself as good as you can now for the future.”
Hogg says the players have coped well with the upheaval following manager Mick McCarthy’s departure earlier in the month.
“It’s a crazy world football, it’s quite different to other walks of life,” he reflected. “I think in football you become quite adjustable in terms of situations and scenarios.
“They’ve handled it. The staff here have handled it, the training ground has handled it well and we’re all looking to the future now.
“We’re all looking what’s going to happen with the new manager coming in, obviously the owner had his interview yesterday and we’ll wait on that decision. In terms of their own mentality they’ve been really good and positive.”
He says the squad have taken on board the ideas he, Klug and Nash have tried to impart during their time in charge.
“You’d like to think so,” he said. “We haven’t done anything drastically different. You can’t reinvent the wheel, it’s only been two weeks.
“There’s been little tweaks here and there so hopefully you should be able to see one or two things coming out in the games, but the game of football is all about winning games and how you do that.
“We want to play in a good attractive style but first and foremost you need to stay in games, scrap it out, fight it out, and that’s something the group has done pretty well all season.
“But then it’s whether we can we just add that extra little bit of quality and that extra little bit of patience and care in the final third, which is obviously where it matters.”
He admits he would be hurt if Town fail to win any of the four games in which the temporary management team is in charge, although believes results aren’t the be-all and end-all of their short tenure.
“Yes, I know I mentioned winning games, but I wouldn’t get too hung up on it,” he considered.
“I think it is about winning games, I get that, but what I would say is that it’s about getting these players through the next two weeks and for them to have a positive experience of us as a staff, myself, Bryan and Gerard, and also keeping that unique bond that they have got and making sure we finish the season as positively as we can.
“Getting some points would be great but performances and the way we’re trying to play if that is the level of success - and I know Bryan spoke about it before about what success is, football is about winning points - but if we see certain signs of how the team is playing and other elements then I think we’ll be happy.”
How much of a say does he have in team selection? “We work as a trio but I think Nashy covered that one a little last week in terms of we all have an input but obviously Bryan decides the team.”
Having become involved in management albeit for a short spell, Hogg says he has renewed respect for the bosses he worked under during his playing career.
“Yes, it’s funny because you do see that side of it,” he said. “But it’s a difficult job and it’s a great job on one hand as well.
“I’ve respect for every human being anyway but in terms of football a manager is a really difficult job with everything which goes into the mix.
“It does just show you these top managers in the game, the level of expertise they have and that the level of personality and charisma they have to deal with certain situations is phenomenal. It’s been great for me personally to have an insight into that.”
Regarding his long-term plans, he added: “I go back to what I just said, I try and grow each day as an individual in my football and as a person really. That’s the sort of mindset where I can live with myself as long as I’m trying to be the best I can be.
“I’ve tried to have that throughout my life really. My football career, I didn’t get to where I wanted to get, but I can live with myself because I tried everything.
“The same with my coaching. I don’t have any specific agendas, goals, targets or anything, I just want to be the best person, the best coach, improve my knowledge and work with the players every day.”
Will it be tough returning to working with the U23s after his spell working with the big boys?
“No, as I say, it’s about players,” he insisted. “I enjoy working with players and trying to make players better.
“I enjoy the tactical element of the game as well, so it’s all a learning experience and I don’t think it will be difficult. I think it’ll be pretty much resuming how I was and I’m just glad to have the job to go back to.”
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