Hoganson hungry for more after making Derby County debut
MICHAEL Hoganson brushed aside a few early nerves to help Derby County earn a clean sheet in the first start of his senior career.
The 19-year-old was handed his full debut for the Rams in Saturday's goalless draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers, replacing the suspended Gareth Roberts at left-back.
The young defender, who joined Derby last summer after a successful trial following his release by Newcastle United, had only made one previous first-team appearance for Nigel Clough's side – as a late substitute in the win over Middlesbrough on New Year's Day.
Clough had tried to bring in loan cover for the experienced Roberts, who picked up a three-match ban for his red card at Hull City, but eventually opted to put his faith in Hoganson.
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"I got a little heads up on Friday to say I could be playing, so that allowed me to get my head around it," said the teenager.
"This was the biggest game of my career. I had goosebumps all over my body when I walked out to see all the supporters.
"Of course there are going to be a few nerves and I was very nervous at the start of the game.
"But once you get the first few passes and touches out of the way, I could relax from there.
"I was happy with my performance and the gaffer said he was pleased with me."
Although Derby were denied all three points, it was a highly satisfactory full debut for Hoganson.
"I came on earlier in the season but to make my full debut, last the full 90 and, most importantly, keep a clean sheet, I've got to be happy with that," he said.
"It was a big battle. Wolves are a strong side, an ex-Premier League side, so it's a good point for us.
"It's a hard league and every game is tough.
"In the end, it was probably a fair result. There were very few chances for either side."
Hoganson received plenty of support from his team-mates – and some advice from the man he replaced in the side.
"Robbo came in before the game, because he's played against them before, so he gave me a bit of a heads up on who I was up against.
"He's a great player and someone who I look up to.
"I'll just try to do the best that I can for the team."
With Roberts banned for two more matches – tomorrow night's home game against Bolton Wanderers and Saturday's trip to Watford – Hoganson is hoping he has done enough to keep his place in the side for now.
"He's out for three games, so this was a chance for me to stake my claim to stay in the team for the next two matches," he added.
"Hopefully, I've done that but we'll have to wait and see."
Having had a taste of Championship football, Hoganson is now hungry for more.
"This is huge for me," he said.
"To make my debut in the Championship is massive and, hopefully, I can crack on from here.
"When I joined the club, I hoped I'd get in the first team but I'm still a young lad.
"I thought I might have to stay in the under-21s for a season before I got a chance.
"I hoped I would get a chance to play at some point before the end of the season but I never really dreamt that it would happen.
"Now it has happened, I can't wait to push on now and see how many games I can get."