Jackett: Portsmouth's powerful message to youngsters

Haji Mnoga's first-team elevation delivers a powerful message to Blues' promising youngsters.

Wednesday, 10th October 2018, 5:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th October 2018, 6:49 pm
Haji Mnoga has offered hope to fellow Pompey Academy players. Picture: Joe Pepler

That's the message from Kenny Jackett, after putting his faith in the second-youngest debutant in Pompey post-war history.

The 16-year-old Mnoga featured at right-back in Tuesday night's 1-0 victory over Crawley in the Checkatrade Trophy.

He represents the latest product of Mark Kelly's prolific Academy production line.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And Jackett feels the newest emergence can provide hope for other youngsters in Pompey's thriving youth set-up.

He said: '˜I felt it was the right thing to do in terms of a right-back giving me the ability at the start of the game to rest my whole back four from Saturday, which I felt I needed.

'˜Also, it's backing up the likes of Mark Kelly and our youth department to give all the boys there some encouragement

'˜If they do do well enough and are good enough then they can get through.

'˜I wanted to encourage and I did feel, from what I have seen so far, that Haji deserved that. Also, until you do put them in, sometimes you never know.

'˜I see certain qualities in him. I also still see a long way to go in terms of being the player and the person he can be.

'˜But I always believe until you actually give somebody a chance you never know.

'˜He did fine. It's about keeping his feet on the floor now and making sure he is dedicated enough to make the most of the high amount of talent he has.'