Ben Thompson hails Portsmouth's role in securing new Millwall deal

Ben Thompson praised the role Pompey played in him signing a new deal with Millwall.

Monday, 10th June 2019, 8:00 pm
Ben Thompson, left, with Barry Harris Picture: Daniel Chesterton

And the former Blues loanee, who spent the first half of the 2018-19 season at Fratton Park, believes his time at PO4 was a major contributor to him securing his future at the Den.

Thompson’s spell on the south coast saw him quickly establish himself as a firm fans’ favourite.

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He made 27 appearances and scored three goals as Kenny Jackett’s side led the way in League One.

But that form convinced Lions boss Neil Harris to activate an early release clause in his season-long loan deal in January.

Following his return to the capital, Millwall secured their Championship status for another year, with the midfielder scoring four goals in 13 appearances before his season was cut short by injury.

Thompson’s impact was such that Harris & Co were keen to tie him down to a long-term deal.

Yet the boyhood Lions fan was quick to highlight the role his Blues stay had on resurrecting his career at the Den.

Speaking to Millwall’s website, Thompson said: ‘Going to Portsmouth was a great learning curve for me. I gained lots of confidence, which I needed, and built up more skill on the pitch and played better football.

‘I then came back and feel like I replicated that. That's what the aim was, to go out on loan and get the experience, get the games under my belt, then come back and be raring to go in a Millwall shirt. 

‘It paid off, we stayed up, and next season we have to be better.

‘Going away was massive. it was somewhere I'd never been before, I had a new set of team-mates, a new manager, new staff - it was all a bit daunting at first, but the boys were top class. They made me feel welcome.

‘I gained confidence at Pompey and could see myself going up the pitch and scoring every time I got the ball.

‘I've practised adding goals and assists to my game over the last couple of seasons, which is obviously key to any football team.

‘If you gain those, you're going to be an important player, so that's what I've been working on.

‘Hopefully that continues into next season. I think it's going to be a massive one for me next year.

‘Last season I felt comfortable on the ball and on the pitch, and next year I want to score more goals and get more assists.’

Thompson has made 106 appearances for Millwall after making his debut against Southamton in the Capital One Cup in 2014.