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Jonthan Hogg: 'Watford is the best team I have been at for team spirit and belief'
Jonathan Hogg believes Watford’s squad have the best team spirit he has seen and claims the players will be targeting a place in the play-offs next season.
Hogg joined the Hornets last summer from Aston Villa, for an initial £300,000, and it proved to be an extremely good signing – his 41 starts this season was the highest in the squad.
He said: “I think this is the best team I have been at for team spirit and belief. Even if we go one goal down, we believe in ourselves; that we will come back and win.
“Part of that is down to the gaffer – the never say die attitude – and it is a great attitude to have in this league.”
Dyche is the seventh manager Hogg has played under during his young career, although he did not feature in a competitive game for Martin O’Neill and Alex McLeish at Villa and his stay at Darlington, who were then led by Steve Staunton, lasted a month.
Hogg made seven starts for Villa in the first half of the 2010/11 season, under caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald and then Gerard Houllier, and finished the campaign on loan at Steve Cotterill’s Portsmouth.
When asked how Dyche compared to other managers he has played under, Hogg replied: “I think he is a very good manager.
“I have had a couple of managers who have different opinions to him but I think he has gone about his job the right way, in what is his first year as a manager.
“He has done a great job and hopefully next year he will do an even better job and make the play-offs.”
He added: “To get to Wembley and the play-off final would be a dream for me and it is why I came here, so hopefully we can do it.”
Watford were in the bottom three in mid-October but ended the campaign strongly and were six points away from the play-offs going into the final month of the season.
Hogg believes he’s had “a really successful season” and says Dyche and the coaching staff have been brilliant.
The combative midfielder has enjoyed an impressive debut season at the Hornets on the pitch but off it, the 23-year-old had to adjust to living away from his young family.
Hogg has two young daughters but they still live in his home town Middlesbrough and he admits he has found it difficult at times this season.
He said: “I have moved into an apartment down here but my missus and kids are still up north, which is quite difficult to be fair and I need to think about that one next year.
“It would be a big decision to move them down here because all my family are up there, it is where I am from and I love it up there.
“But the boys have been great, I have really enjoyed my football and staying here, so I am happy with the move.”
Hogg has quickly become an influential member of the Hornets side but it is easy to forget he is still only 23.
Dyche signed a number of players last summer to increase the squad’s experience but the majority are still in the early stages of their career and Hogg believes the group of players will continue to develop with time.
He said: “A lot of our midfield, and the whole team, are only young so the more we play then the more experienced we will become.
“There is certainly room for improvement in all of us and hopefully next year will be a better year and we will be near the play-offs.”