Returning hero delivers Portsmouth declaration as he guns for Fratton Park glory

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Kusini Yengi has declared himself ready to resume his scintillating Pompey form.

The summer signing from Western Sydney proved a revelation upon his initial introduction to the Fratton faithful, netting four goals in his opening three appearances.

However, that was prematurely halted after sustaining ankle ligament damage in training when team-mate Christian Saydee accidentally fell on him.

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After six weeks out, the Australian striker returned to action in the last minute of Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Port Vale, coming on for Saydee.

Now Pompey are hosting Gillingham in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night (7.45pm), with Mousinho looking to rotate his squad.

Potentially that could hand Yengi a starting spot – and he’s keen for the opportunity after missing 11 matches.

He told The News: ‘I came back to training on Monday last week and wanted to be involved for Port Vale, I thought I was ready, but the plan was it wouldn’t be that match.

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‘Then with injuries and suspensions that changed, so I was back in the squad on Saturday.

Kusini Yengi returned to Pompey duty against Port Vale on Saturday. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImagesKusini Yengi returned to Pompey duty against Port Vale on Saturday. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
Kusini Yengi returned to Pompey duty against Port Vale on Saturday. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘My body is fine, to be fair I feel quite fit considering the time I’ve been out. My ankle feels fine, so if the coach wants to start me (against Gillingham) then I’m fine.

‘For the first couple of days in training when back in the squad, you’re kind of sussing things out, feeling how it is to be back with the team, and from there you start to build, build, build.

‘On Thursday and Friday (last week) I felt a lot more confident, was sprinting around, striking the ball. I felt ready for Port Vale – and I’m ready for this game too.

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‘It was great to be back out there, the fans are awesome, everyone chanting and clapping, I love the song walking out as well.

‘Gillingham is another game, another opportunity to score goals, another opportunity for game fitness, to gel more with my team-mates and to gain confidence.’

Yengi netted on his Pompey debut after coming on as a substitute against Bristol Rovers, levelling in time added-on to secure a 1-1 draw in August.

Remarkably, he then scored on his full debut, grabbing two in a 3-1 Carabao Cup victory over Forest Green in the following match.

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Then, in his first league away trip, he registered once more, this time a stoppage-time penalty in a 4-0 success at Leyton Orient.

However, injury next intervened, but he was back on Saturday – although admitted he was confused over supporters chanting his name.

He added: ‘When I came to warm-up, they were singing ‘Yengi, Yengi’ but I didn’t really understand what they were saying!

‘I heard my name, but didn’t really understand what was going on. I had been told to warm-up, so was also focused on that.

‘Then I heard everyone boo, so clapped for them. I really appreciate the fans!’