Why ex-Hibs defender Ryan Porteous could become Scotland mainstay, 'nasty streak', 'matured', Watford move
The duo had their tussles during Scotland's 3-0 win over Cyprus at Hampden Park on Saturday. Porteous earned his second cap for his country as part of a back three, demonstrating both his combativeness and composure in possession on his 24th birthday.
Gogic saw the centre-back’s ability and potential up close at Easter Road. While he created plenty of headlines for the wrong reasons at times, the Cypriot defender was glad to have him as a team-mate and believes Scotland will benefit from his “nasty streak”, a facet of his game he combines with pace and a fine passing range.
“I am pleased for Porto to get his first start at Hampden - he is doing amazing," the St Mirren player said. “It is always nice to see guys you have played alongside do well for their country. When he has played for Scotland he has done well but he is also doing it at Watford as well.
“He had his critics sometimes when he was at Hibs but he is a smart guy. Maybe some people don’t like how he puts himself about but that’s what makes him Porto. He is down south and doing amazing because of that and he was brilliant for Scotland on Saturday. I can see him being a mainstay for Scotland for years if he keeps playing like that. He is so mature for someone his age. He has pace, he can tackle and he can pass as well. At Hibs he would send balls into Kevin Nisbet and turn defence into attacks.
“I would never tell him to calm down on the park. He is who he is and there is no point trying to change him. You let him do his thing and you want a player like him in every team. You don’t want everyone in the side to be nice and friendly, especially not the defenders. They need to be old school. You need them to have that nasty streak in them and he has that. But he has the ability to play too."
‘Focusing on football’
Gogic claimed Porteous was “trying to get a penalty" from him but knew his “old tricks". “I told him ‘I’m not going to fall for that’ and we were laughing together," he revealed. But the Cypriot has noticed a difference in him since his mid-season move to Championship Watford where he has started the Hornets’ last nine games.
"I think though you have seen him recently he has matured," he said. “He is focusing on his football, especially going down south, living by himself, he is focusing on football. He got the chance to go to Watford and he has grabbed it. He knows what he has to do. At Hibs he would do extra training to improve and people outside the club didn’t see that. He has got his rewards for his hard work and I am not surprised by his success. To play at the top level these days you need to put in the hard work. If you have the talent you still need to work on your game and he does that.”
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.