Portsmouth defender Haji Mnoga sets stall out ahead of Fratton Park return and explains how he can save Danny Cowley money in the transfer market


The defender is returning to the club this summer following an impressive loan spell at Weymouth last term – but is setting his stall out now as he looks to impress Danny Cowley during pre-season.

This represented his most productive and consistent spell in senior football, after making only five league outings for the Blues before his temporary departure into the non-league ranks.

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Now Mnoga believes he’s ready to make the step up at Fratton Park, admitting he’d be disheartened if he wasn’t handed regular first-team opportunities over the coming season.

The youngster told The News: ‘I would be disappointed if I came back and wasn’t going to be playing at Pompey next season, but at the moment I just want what’s best for me.

‘I don’t think there’s a state of disbelief from the manager, it’s just one of the challenges in your career you need to get over.

‘Once you start playing football regularly, you have to get in and keep your place. For me, I want to earn my place and stay in the team.

Haji Mnoga is returning to Pompey for pre-season. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Over the last couple of years, I made my debut when I was quite young and made my league debut when I was 18.

‘For me now, I want to be playing regularly and not sitting on the bench because I’ve done that.

‘I really enjoy training at Pompey because of the standard. It’s good to come up against players like Marcus Harness who, when I was younger, used to rip me all the time!

‘It (League One) is the level I want to be playing at so I always try my best in training when among those players.’

Haji Mnoga last week made his international debut for Tanzania. Picture: Jason Brown

Going into pre-season, Pompey have a vacancy for a versatile centre-back who can also operate at right-back.

But Mnoga believes he can save his head coach time and money.

Indeed, he’s played in a variety of positions throughout his fledgling career.

And although many see him as a right-back, the youngster has also featured at centre-back and in defensive midfield for the club.

Now, after various auditions on the field, the Tanzania international believes he knows which position suits him best.

He added: ‘I would say right centre-back is my position.

‘If I come back in pre-season and do well, then they won’t have to bring anyone else in and spend money on my position because they already have someone there.’

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