Lancashire bowler Kyle Hogg has stressed the importance of a good start to the season as the newly-promoted county prepare to get their LV= County Championship campaign under way at Nottinghamshire on Sunday.
The side’s build-up has been overshadowed to some extent by the speculation linking coach Peter Moores with the vacant England job, a position he previously held between 2007 and 2009.
However, Hogg insists that the Red Rose county are focused only on matters on the field and getting a quick start in what he expects to be a very tight Division One season.
“Obviously the First Division is a lot stronger than the Second Division,” he said. “Every team is very strong and every team will look at it the same way as we do.
“Everyone will fancy their chances of winning the league and so it’s going to be tough, but we’ve got all bases covered and we’re ready for it.”
“2011 when we won, we won four of the first five games and got a lot of points in the bag early on. And the year that we went down I think we lost four of the first five games and it’s so hard at the back end of the season to get results when you need them.
“Normally the team that starts the strongest, they get the momentum and keep it throughout the season.”
The 30-year-old had a fantastic season in 2013 and was named the county’s player of the season having taken 60 first class wickets at just 18.41 but was quick to point out the contributions of his team-mates in helping Lancashire gain promotion from Division Two at the first attempt.
“It was really good, it was good to be playing in all the games and doing well,” Hogg added. “But I think when you get three lads who take 50 wickets or two lads scoring 1000 runs you’ll be winning a lot of matches.”
As well as looking to push on in the County Championship, Hogg also feels that the current squad is more than capable of ending their limited overs trophy drought stretching back to 1999.
“As a club we want to win something. It’s probably been far too long since we won a one-day trophy,” he admitted.
“We’ve done well in four day cricket but if you look at our squad now, it’s definitely capable of winning a one-day trophy.”