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Two days ago it was a surprise to see the name Joel Mumbongo on the team sheet for the Premier League Cup game against Middlesbrough.

1920 burnley joel mumbongo 01 400x400The Swedish striker, who had spent last season in Italy with Hellas Verona, played for our under-23s in pre-season. He went on the tour to Poland and I last saw him play in the pre-season friendly at Bamber Bridge when he came off in some discomfort.

Although we’d seen photographs suggesting he’d signed for us, that appeared to be it and there was no sign of him until Sunday.

Today it has been cleared up by the club. Mumbongo explained: “It started well but as time went on it was hard on my knee because the tempo was just so high, and I couldn’t take it I had to tell them I was in pain and we talked about it. I’m lucky that they still wanted me here and helped me and I’m very thankful for that because I don’t think many teams would do that. I think they would just send me home and tell me to get fit.”

There has been no confirmation from the club that he’s actually signed although the player has suggested that he’s now hoping for a longer stay while confirming that he’ll be here for the next few months.

He was delighted though to be involved on Sunday. “I have been waiting for that, just to get on the pitch,” he said. “It was a good feeling, just that all the hard work in the gym every day pays off.

“It’s a great squad here and the football is good for your development. There are a lot of good players and you can’t just be comfortable in training because someone can take your place. That’s what you need, to push you every day.

“The next few months I just want to play games and get back to where I was before the injury. I feel confident and I feel strong; just trust my ability and what I can do on the pitch and the rest will come naturally.”

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