Mendez-Laing hoping fresh start can inspire Pompey

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing takes on former Pompey defender Andy Griffin
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing takes on former Pompey defender Andy Griffin

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing believes Pompey can reap the benefits as he seeks to resurrect his career.

The 20-year-old was transfer listed by Championship side Peterborough last week and told he didn’t have a future at the club.

That came after Mendez-Laing, Gaby Zakuani, Tyrone Barnett and Emile Sinclair spent a night out in Peterborough following a home defeat to Crystal Palace.

A subsequent internal investigation saw them punished by boss Darren Ferguson for a ‘breach of club discipline’.

Mendez-Laing, who only arrived at London Road in the summer from Wolves, in turn joined Pompey on a month’s loan on Thursday.

And his impact was immediate after being handed a debut for the visit of Doncaster Rovers, producing a stunning man-of-the-match performance.

The youngster caught the eye with a powerful and pacy display, mainly down the left flank.

He couldn’t help prevent Pompey slumping to a sixth successive defeat after Iain Hume’s first-half goal decided a 1-0 scoreline.

Nonetheless, it was a highly-encouraging debut from Mendez-Laing as he seeks to put himself in the shop window.

He said: ‘It was just a bit of madness around the club (Peterborough), but I would rather not speak about that.

‘I’ve come here to play football and hopefully I can do that.

‘That’s how football goes sometimes. Obviously, they (Peterborough) are not happy with whatever has gone on so we’ll see what happens in January.

‘It is always an option that if I came here, do well and they like me then I could stay even longer. But you have to see what’s on the table and what is best for me.

‘I did ask the gaffer (Ferguson) to get out a few weeks ago and he said “no”.

‘Then, whatever has happened in the past week has happened and they have let me go out now and said I have no future there.

‘There were a few other clubs who wanted me on loan as well, but this is the one that stood out to me the most.

‘It’s still a big club and I wanted to get away from being so close to home in Birmingham. I wanted to come here, enjoy myself, play my football and focus particularly on football – no distractions.

‘A few other clubs didn’t really appeal to me. I know this club likes to play football as well, which is one of the main things which attracted me.

‘Now I just want to play and hopefully take Saturday’s performance into tomorrow.’

It was another low-key display for the Blues on Saturday as they slide towards the League One relegation zone.

Yet Mendez-Laing believes they deserved better against Rovers.

He added: ‘We deserved to win that game.

‘They only caused us that one problem in the first half which obviously resulted in a goal, but other than that I couldn’t see a threat from them.

‘They had a little spell towards the end but overall I thought we were in control of the game.

‘They were always on their back foot and have defended well. We were unfortunate not to win that game.’