Portsmouth consider 16-year-old for another Checkatrade Trophy outing

0
Have your say

Rookie defender Haji Mnoga is the frame for another Pompey outing. 

The 16-year-old became the second-youngest player in the Blues’ post-war history when he featured against Crawley last month.

Teenager Haji Mnoga has already featured for Pompey this season. Picture: Joe Pepler

Teenager Haji Mnoga has already featured for Pompey this season. Picture: Joe Pepler

That occasion was a Checkatrade Trophy fixture – and the youngster could also appear in tonight’s clash with Spurs under-21s.

Kenny Jackett will make wholesale changes to the team which won 4-0 at Maidenhead in the FA Cup at the weekend.

That will mean starts for the likes of Andre Green, Danny Rose and David Wheeler as they bid to impress.

And the Blues boss also admitted Mnoga and other academy prospects are in his thoughts for this evening’s Checkatrade Trophy encounter (7.45pm).

Jackett said: ‘We will see, I do think one or two youth players somewhere along the line, whether it be starting or off the bench, can feature.

‘It will help their development, particularly if they can go in with some senior players.

‘I think the mix of guys is very good for their development and also against a group of Spurs players that I know very well. It will be interesting to see a match up with our perceived better youth players.

‘Haji has been fine. In terms of him working hard and applying himself, he’s a very good character to be able to do that.

‘He has trained with the first-team on one or two occasions. We’ve made sure that he's fitted in, in terms of the right sessions and hard sessions to test them out and push them.’

Another consideration for the 18-man squad against Spurs under-21s is left-back Joe Hancott.

The 17-year-old became the club’s youngest post-war player when he turned out against Fulham under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy last season.

That August 2017 outing also represents the sole time the academy youngster has broken into a first-team squad.

However, Hancott has recovered from an injury sustained in the summer to put himself in contention.

Although, with Brandon Haunstrup available, the Isle of Wight talent may have to settle for a place on Pompey’s bench.

Jackett added: ‘Hancott has been injured and has just got back.

‘For all of those young players, it’s about the situation presenting itself at the right time – and I do think as a club you have to be pro-active and to give them the chance.’

Have you read?

Striker ruled out of Spurs visit

Pompey target named in League of Ireland team of the year

Jackett to make most of Checkatrade Trophy changes