The message to Portsmouth starlet after costly Doncaster error

Haji Mnoga has been backed to become a better player from a tough Doncaster experience.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 6:30 am
Haji Mnoga and Doncaster scorer Reece James (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/

The hugely-promising Pompey teenager endured a testing night at the Keepmoat Stadium, as his side fell to a frustrating 2-1 reverse.

Mnoga was caught out for the first goal, as he was asked to operate as a wing-back as Kenny Jackett changed formations.

It was an approach which was ditched mid-way through the first-half, as the 18-year-old was moved to the right of midfield before being taken off at half-time.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Whatmough steadied the ship from the right-back role in the second half, but the Gosport lad had words of support for his fellow homegrown talent.

He said: ‘Haji is a fantastic young player with a really bright future in the game.

‘He’s learning and I’m the same, even at 24 I’m still learning the game.

‘He’s a young lad who’s going in the right direction.

‘There are good people in the changing room to learn from.

‘I’ve been dragged at half-time, even this season.

‘It’s just a learning curve and something that comes from experience.

‘I’m sure he’ll learn from the experience.’

Whatmough believes it’s small margins which are making the difference to Pompey’s season at present.

And the Blues defender is adamant there’s still time for his team to turn the campaign around with 15 game remaining.

He added: ‘I just think we’re not getting the rub of the green at the minute.

‘I think you could see that with the chance at the end where it wouldn’t quite fall for us.

‘There was potentially a penalty on Haji in the first half.

‘Looking back on that it’s not going our way.

‘It’s not just excuses - we have to be better, and I know we’re capable of that.

‘It’s a long old season still and there’s still a lot to play for.

‘There’s only a couple of days between games so we can look to go to Northampton and rectify this.’