After featuring in five League One matches last season, Portsmouth youngster Haji Mnoga probably thought that he would be getting a chance to feature more regularly for the club this season.
But following the recruitment of some experienced individuals in the transfer window, the 19-year-old, whose natural position is at right-back but featured in midfield during pre-season and gave Danny Cowley a lot to think about because of his performances, has ended up on loan at National League side Bromley.
Mnoga started against Chesterfield in a 2-2 draw at the start of September but following three more appearances as a substitute, the teenager hasn’t appeared in Andy Woodman’s squad in any of the previous three games.
There appears to be no injury concerns regarding Mnoga and he’s simply been dropped from the 16-man squad, which will disappoint the head honchos at Fratton Park who will have seen it as a good chance for him to gain some senior experience.
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And Cowley himself has issued some stern words for Mnoga as he looks to force his way back into the Bromley team ahead of Portsmouth’s Papa John’s Trophy match with Sutton United – one that Mnoga is eligible to feature in.
“Haji has got to suck up the disappointment of not being involved and stay really focused,” Cowley said, per the Portsmouth News.
“He needs to be resilient and determined and do his best to prove them wrong and he’ll have an opportunity to do that tomorrow night.
“I’m sure the Bromley staff will watch the game back and if he plays well tomorrow night and continues to train well then that gives him ammunition to maybe knock on the door and ask some questions.
“Bromley were really keen on taking him on loan and when they signed him it was only 48 hours later until he made his debut against Chesterfield and he hasn’t had too many opportunities since.
“From our perspective it’s been disappointing.”
Portsmouth’s squad looked quite thread-bare throughout the summer so Mnoga probably believed that he may get a chance under Cowley this season.
Their transfer plans got into motion though and it left Mnoga in the cold, but the fact he’s not even getting chances for Bromley right now may tell a different story.
If Pompey didn’t have the funds to bring in the experience of the likes of Ryan Tunnicliffe over the summer then Mnoga may have ended up getting his chance but he needs to take his chance at Bromley or else he could face a tough ride trying to force his way into Cowley’s plans.
This latest message though should give him the right idea on what he needs to do – it’s now up to the youngster to perform starting with the PJT match against Sutton.