Portsmouth boss on why ex-Charlton and West Ham man has been 'stand-out' player in pre-season - and won't be departing
Pompey’s ‘stand-out player’ during their friendly schedule will not be leaving Fratton Park on loan.
That’s the verdict of Danny Cowley following Jay Mingi’s eye-catching contribution since the Blues’ return to pre-season training.
The 21-year-old spent time on loan at National League Maidenhead last term, while also attracted interest from ambitious Wrexham.
Having extended his Pompey stay this summer, he performed strongly in the centre of midfielder against the Hawks and Gosport last weekend.
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And Cowley admits the former Charlton man has impressed him significantly enough to resist loaning him out.
He told The News: ‘I thought Jay was the stand-out player from both games of all four teams we named.
‘I liked his dynamism, his power against the ball, he’s an aerobic beast, physically very good, he can see the danger and put the fire out in that defensive transitional moment.
‘When you compare him to last summer, against Havant he looked on a significantly better level – and good on him.
‘Against Havant, Jay was kicked a fair few times. He has this ability where he shows the opponent the ball and goes past them, he’s got such an acceleration, sometimes getting clattered as a consequence.
‘I think anything is possible, he is growing and improving all the time. He’s a young player on a journey and is making really good progress on a daily basis.
‘I don’t see a loan for Jay, I see him being right in and around it. Last January we would have liked to have got him on a second loan, he did well at Maidenhead and then had the shoulder injury.
‘But it wasn’t possible, we couldn’t get the extra midfielder in, so he stayed and, thinking with hindsight, the opportunity to train with the quality of players in the group has helped him.
‘Also it enabled us to spend that day-to-day time with him – and the (first-team) game time he got at the end of the season has benefited him too.
‘Credit to him because I know he’s put a lot of work in.’
Indeed, the heavy treatment handed out to Mingi during the second half of Pompey’s 3-0 win at Westleigh Park has seen him subsequently wear a dressing on his left wrist.
Nonetheless, with two 45-minute outings so far, the midfielder who arrived as a triallist last summer is beginning to flourish.
Cowley added: ‘At the moment Jay’s working really hard to keep improving his game in possession.
‘We are also trying to improve his aerobic capacity because he has this wonderful ability to produce these high intensity moments.
‘But we want them more and more – and we want him to repeat this regularly in the game.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron