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Steve Bruce’s lack of confidence in Scott Hogan made evident

Aston Villa

Steve Bruce’s lack of confidence in Scott Hogan made evident

The striker saw Rushian Hepburn-Murphy given a chance ahead of him v Bolton Wanderers.

When Aston Villa snapped up Scott Hogan last January he looked a smart recruit. Villa paid a fee reported to be in the region of £12 million by the BBC.

Hogan had been in fine form with Brentford previous to the transfer being made.He had scored 21 goals in 34 games for the club since joining from Rochdale in July 2014.

Aston Villa were hopeful he could have a similar goalscoring impact at Villa Park. That has not exactly been the case. Hogan has managed just six goals in 44 league appearances for Aston Villa and has struggled to live up to his price-tag.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 13: Steve Bruce manager of Aston Villa looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers at Villa Park on March 13, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images,)

After the Bolton Wanderers game yesterday, Hogan will be wondering where he stands at Villa Park.

Aston Villa lost 1-0 against relegation battlers Bolton Wanderers this weekend. The defeat was a bitter blow to Villa’s automatic promotion hopes, with Villa now seven points behind Cardiff City in second.

But whilst chasing the game, after Adam Le Fondre had given Bolton the lead, Bruce looked to the Villa bench. He decided to bring on another striker to partner Lewis Grabban up top. But, instead of going to Hogan, Bruce brought on 19-year-old Rushian Hepburn-Murphy.

The pacey striker had only played 15 minutes of first-team football this season and is yet to score a senior goal.

Hogan eventually did make his way onto the pitch but could not prove Bruce wrong for turning to the teenager instead.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MAY 07: Paul Dummett of Newcastle United and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy of Aston Villa compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on May 7, 2016 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

But it highlights an obvious lack of confidence in the £12 million striker from Bruce. Hogan last scored in the Championship at the start of February and it is a serious concern as Villa now look likely to challenge for the play-off places in the Championship.                                                                                                                                                         

Hogan will hope he can take a chance to get back in the good books soon, after the Hepburn-Murphy experiment fell flat at the Macron Stadium. If not, then his future at Villa Park is looking increasingly bleak.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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