On loan Portsmouth defender Haji Mnoga sorry for red card on Gillingham’s debut against Swindon Town at Priestfield

On loan Gillingham defender Haji Mnoga has apologized to his teammates after Saturday’s red card.

Mnoga received two early bookings, both for fouls, leaving Gills to play 10-man Swindon Town for over 80 minutes. Harris’ men dug in and drew 0-0.

Haji Mnoga heads for the locker room after being sent off in the 10th minute for two bookable offences. Image: KPIs

It was Mnoga’s debut but hopes of making a positive impact quickly evaporated. Harris wasn’t interested in apologies and just hopes the 20-year-old learns fast.

Harris said: “He apologized then, he apologized afterwards, I’m not interested in apologies, it’s about him to learn.

“He’s a young man we’ve taken because Portsmouth believe in him and I’ve seen him, I know how good he’s going to be, he’s going to be a very good player.

“But he has to learn fast. I don’t have time for players to make mistakes like that.

Gillingham had made an impressive start in the opening minutes with 11 men, pushing Swindon to concede possession several times and looking good to end their six-game scoreless streak.

But Mnoga was already in the book for a sixth-minute trip over Ben Gladwin and four minutes later he then knocked out Jacob Wakeling as the visitors looked to make a breakaway. The young defender couldn’t complain about either caution.

Despite the setback, the Gills absorbed the pressure from Swindon for the rest of the game and earned the point, having chances to take all three.

Harris said: “We got away with it because the players pulled him out of a hole, that’s what a good team does, he has to learn from it, that’s all I told him , he must learn and he will.”

Mnoga started the game at right-back and it was left to winger Hakeeb Adelakun to take over that role, something he excelled at.

Harris said: “To come in at right-back against a team that dominates on the ball, to put in that performance, fair play for him.

“Straight away you think, ‘we’ve lost a defender, so who do we put?’ We decided to put Hakeeb at the back to give us a foothold and he got better and better so I didn’t have to do that sub for so long.

Mnoga, who only signed on Thursday, accepting a season-long League One loan from Portsmouth, will now be suspended for Saturday’s trip to Crawley Town.

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