Former Portsmouth, Birmingham City and Cardiff City striker reveals the toughest challenge he has faced since joining Hartlepool United
It’s been a case of zero to one hundred for Omar Bogle since completing his move to Hartlepool United.
Bogle was a marquee signing for Pools in the January transfer window after Graeme Lee was able to convince the striker to drop down to League Two following a turbulent spell with Doncaster Rovers in League One.
And Bogle’s signing has proved fundamental to the upturn in form from Pools in the second half of the campaign.
Bogle hit the ground running scoring four times in his first eight appearances as Pools moved away from any potential relegation concerns into the comfort of midtable.
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But the 29-year-old has struggled a little of late, having now gone eight games without a goal since his consolation in the defeat at Walsall.
But the transition for Bogle has been a difficult one having gone from barely featuring at the Keepmoat Stadium to being thrust immediately into the thick of things at the Suit Direct Stadium as the focal point of Lee’s attack.
And the striker admits he’s only just starting to compete without the constraints of injury on his body.
“That has been the hardest part for me. Coming off the back of not playing at all for half a season and then coming in and playing so many games,” said Bogle.
“I’ll be honest, coming into this week is one of the first times I haven’t felt anything.
“Obviously there’s little niggles and there’s this and that which you kind of have to manage in your play, and obviously the gaffer has tried to manage me as well.
“I didn't start against Bradford. He’s tried to manage my minutes because they can see that, especially with numbers as well on the GPS, they can see the workload that I’m doing so they don’t want me to get injured.
“So that’s been the most difficult thing, managing the niggles you get while your body gets used to playing 90 minutes again.”
Bogle added: “As footballers you’re probably always playing with something.
“Sometimes I might not run as fast as I can just because I can feel something. And in training I’ve kind of got to manage myself a bit, but now is the best I’ve felt since I’ve been here.”
But while Bogle’s form might have tailed off in recent weeks as he continues to adjust to the nature of playing week-in, week-out, the 29-year-old has stressed the importance for Pools not to allow their season to fizzle out.
Lee’s side have won just one of their last six league games following Saturday’s defeat by Salford City ahead of another difficult fixture against league leaders Forest Green Rovers this weekend.
And Bogle says it’s important to try and carry momentum forward into next season.
“We’re looking at it now and with the games we’ve got left we can just go and give it our best shot and see where we end up,” said Bogle.
“Normally you want to have the momentum anyway because that will carry on into next season but regardless of what happens we want to finish the season on a high.
“The sole focus is still on this season. We have to focus on that. But ultimately, we’re looking to next season and thinking about where we can go from there.”