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Scott Hogan: “Today was a game of football that I have waited a long time to play in.”

29 February 2016

Striker praises club’s medical staff after he makes goalscoring return for Development Squad after 18 months out

Scott Hogan said he has overcome a lot of mental barriers after making his return to action after a-year-and-a-half out with a knee injury. The striker picked up the injury away at Rotherham United in August 2014 and suffered a re-occurance last April. However he returned to training earlier this year and made a goalscoring return this afternoon in a 2-2 draw for the Development Squad at home to Crystal Palace.

Speaking to Bees Player after the match Scott said he has vowed to enjoy every minute of football after coming through his injury nightmare and was pleased to get back out on the pitch. “Today was a game of football that I have waited a long time to play in,” said Scott. “I tried to stay relaxed before the match and enjoy it. It was nice to put a kit on for a meaningful cause. It has been so hard on and off the pitch. I made the vow to always enjoy my football. I might get angry and throw my arms about if I miss a chance but I will never not enjoy a game of football.

“This was a target that we have met. It was a mental barrier for everyone which is now out of the way. I will report tomorrow morning, train, recover and then see how the next few days go. As soon as I am back outside training with the boys I think that I am ready to be in the first-team squad, that is my mindset, but that is up to the medical team and Dean Smith. I have got to listen to the medical staff. I was told that I had to get over it mentally but I got over it mentally straight away. It is an injury, people get them. They are big, small, complicated, not complicated. I have been unlucky as the two injuries weren’t impact injuries. I have got no problems with someone coming through the back of me and smashing me: I have had a few lads do it to me in training. There is no part of me that is scared or anything but that was a big mental barrier to get over.”

Scott paid special tribute to the club’s medical staff who had stuck with him throughout his time out. The 23-year-old striker admitted there were some dark days in his recovery process but added that it was all worth it go get back out on the pitch.

“It was hard because you get frustrated,” said Scott. “You see the boys training, you see the boys winning, you see the boys losing and you like to think that you can help. I have sat there and watched for coming up to a season and a half now. In every game that I have watched I have sat there and thought that I could do this for the team or do that for the team. They were long hours. You are in the gym, it is tedious and it is hard but at the end of the day it is worth it when you are able to do something like that.

“I think the Medical Staff are probably glad to see the back of me. They are my first port of call if I am frustrated and I take it out on them a lot. Neil Greig, Matt Springham, Darryl Martin, Richard Clarke, Tom Perryman and James Purdue have been brilliant. They have handled me well and tolerated me. They are a big part of what goes on at Brentford and they are a big part of why every weekend we have 17 fit players who run and run and run.”

Scott came through an hour of this afternoon’s match at Griffin Park and put The Bees in front inside the first eight minutes, finishing off a flowing counter-attack. Palace hit back twice in the space of four minutes midway through the first-half but Andy Gogia’s second-half goal secured a point for Flemming Pedersen’s side. The former Rochdale striker said he felt good after his hour and is now aiming to build-up his match fitness.

“I have been training with the boys for a couple of weeks now,” said Scott. “The tempo, intensity and pace of the game is a lot different but I am always confident that I will score in every game. That is my job and that is what people pay me to do. There are some really good young boys out there who have big futures with Brentford and maybe elsewhere. The quality is there to help me feel my way back in. Fitness wise I feel fine. I have been running a long time so I now need the little bits that come with minutes on the pitch. The staff were telling me all week that I was only getting 45 minutes but I have been saying I could do 60 easily. It got to 60 minutes and I was thinking that I could do 90 minutes. I want to play every minute and I feel that I could play another game now. I don’t feel tired because I have had 18 months of feeling tired.”

Scott was given a boost in his recovery as the club offered him a new one-year deal shortly before Christmas taking him through to the summer of 2018. The Manchester-born striker felt it was a fantastic gesture from the club and he is looking forward to re-paying the club for that faith.

“When the club offered me the deal I went really negative and just thought about whether they were going to cover my back,” said Scott. “I was frustrated at being injured but it was brilliant for me. I met the owner, Phil Giles and Rob Rowan and they took me for some food. They went through a few things and they then offered me the extra year. I can’t thank them enough for that. It is security for me and it shows that I am going to get two fully-fit seasons. At the end of it I will be here for four seasons but only be fully fit for two of those so it is a weird one but what they have done for me is fantastic and I will always appreciate it.”

Bees Player subscribers can watch the full interview with Scott below

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