Why ex-Charlton and West Ham midfielder Jay Mingi's immediate Portsmouth future is not under threat despite the return of ex-Luton and Lincoln man Joe Morrell

Danny Cowley has reassured Jay Mingi on his immediate Pompey future amid the imminent return of Joe Morrell.

By Sam Cox
Saturday, 26th February 2022, 4:55 am

Earlier this month, the Blues head coach confirmed the young midfielder would remain at Fratton Park for the remainder of the season amid interest from National league Wrexham.

But the 21-year-old’s chances of making a first-team breakthrough have been dealt a personal blow, with Wales international Morrell due to return after serving a three-match ban.

That will knock the former Charlton youngster and Blues triallist down the midfielder pecking order.

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However, Cowley has revealed Mingi will still be in his match-day squad for today’s home game against Fleetwood, after being named on the bench for the first time against Shrewsbury in midweek.

And he reassured the youngster that he remains in his plans for the foreseeable future.

‘It’s been great to have Jay with us because he’s trained now for a sustained period of time,’ said Cowley.

‘Each day we see a boy who’s getting fitter, sharper and getting up to the level and speed of the game at this level.

Jay Mingi has travelled with the Pompey first team for their recent trips to Crewe and Shrewsbury. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

‘We’re working really hard on his receiving of the ball and passing skills, and also his tactical understanding to find his own space, then how to identify the right pass selection.

‘It’s been good to see him developing, he’ll be in the squad on Saturday.

‘Definitely (I can see him staying) in the short term.

‘We want to keep all the players we do have as close to us as possible.’

After Miguel Azeez was recalled by Arsenal in January, Pompey exited the transfer window a man lighter in midfield.

The situation in their engine room took a blow when Shaun WIlliams picked up a back injury that could see him miss the remainder of the season, while that was soon followed by Morrell’s sending off against Oxford.

Now Cowley is now relieved to have the latter back at his disposal for the challenge against Fleetwood.

He added: ‘I’m delighted to have Joe back.

'There’s been a level of nervousness without Joe because we’ve been so light in that midfield area without him and Shaun Williams as well.

We probably left the window one lighter than we would have liked to have been.

‘To lose Shaun on deadline day was typical of what’s gone against us this season ultimately.

‘To then lose Joe in the next game made it incredibly tough.’

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