Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley's message to former West Ham and Charlton youngster Jay Mingi as midfielder edges closer to Blues bow

Jay Mingi has been told to seize the moment as he closes in on his Pompey debut.

By Mark McMahon
Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 4:54 am

The former West Ham and Charlton youngster – who is out of contract at the end of the season – is in contention to be involved in the Blues’ League One visit to Shrewsbury tonight.

Injuries to Michael Jacobs and Shaun Williams, plus Joe Morrell’s current three-match ban, leaves head coach Danny Cowley light in numbers in midfield.

That means Louis Thompson and Ryan Tunnicliffe look likely to start at New Meadow.

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But circumstances dictate former triallist Mingi could find himself thrust into unexpected first-team action – not long after appearing set to complete his maiden Fratton Park season on loan at National League Maidenhead.

The 21-year-old made nine appearances for the Magpies over the first half of the campaign.

He impressed under the tutelage of Alan Devonshire – prompting interest from Wrexham – until a hamstring cut short his stay at York Road.

Pompey midfielder Jay Mingi Picture: Rogan/JMP

And with Mingi having less than five months to earn a new Blues deal, Cowley has challenged the youngster – and others in a similar boat – to make any decision on his future an easy one for him.

He said: ‘Jay is a young player, he's had a successful loan spell with Maidenhead in the National League.

‘Our plan was for him to go out and continue to play because it’s what he needs in his personal development, but the opportunity has arisen now with the squad size the way it is so we will keep him with us.

‘I’ve seen many times in my career, injury crisis creates an opportunity for a young player and a lot of player’s careers have started off the back of difficult moments with either squad sizes or injuries.

‘There’s a real opportunity for Jay and I look forward to him grabbing the opportunity with both hands.

‘For all of our players that are out of contract, there is motivation for them to earn another contract because this is a great football club and a brilliant place to play football and many people would love to play at Portsmouth.

‘It’s up to the young players and the other players that are out of contract to go and grab that opportunity.

‘The decisions are made by the players, not by us, but by the players, by the way they train and the way they play.

‘For me they always control their future's in terms of their performances.’