Jackett: Portsmouth still have Ben Thompson '“ for now

Kenny Jackett has pencilled in Ben Thompson to feature against Norwich in the FA Cup.

Tuesday, 1st January 2019, 6:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:23 am
Ben Thompson applauds the Fratton faithful following his substitution against Wimbledon. Picture: Joe Pepler

Yet the Blues boss is adamant he is yet to hear about the influential midfielder's future beyond that fixture.

He was given a standing ovation when substituted in time added on, with Christian Burgess introduced from the bench as Jackett attempted to retain their slender lead.

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Ben Thompson applauds the Fratton faithful following his substitution against Wimbledon. Picture: Joe Pepler

It was the Millwall loanee's 26th appearance since arriving on a season-long loan in August.

Fans fear Thompson will now be recalled, with Jackett, immediately after the game, insisting he has yet to learn of such a fate.

Regardless, Lions boss Neil Harris suggested following their 3-2 win at Ipswich that all his loanees would be recalled.

Should that indeed be the case, Thompson would depart Fratton Park on Sunday '“ following the FA Cup trip to Norwich.

Jackett said: '˜Ben has a season-long loan and a recall in it, which is standard for all loans, and it's coming into that period,

'˜We'll just wait and see.

'˜I don't know when we'll hear from Millwall '“ hopefully not at all!

'˜He's available on Saturday against Norwich because he has played for us already in the FA Cup.

'˜The window for the loan to be recalled is between January 6-20.

'˜I certainly hope it wasn't a farewell against Wimbledon, he had a knock on his hip, hopefully he will be okay for Saturday.'

Although Jackett awaits conclusive news on Thompson, a Millwall return remains inevitable.

Successive wins have lifted them into 19th in the Championship, six points clear of Bolton in the final relegation place.

The 23-year-old has been a revelation since arriving at Fratton Park desperate for first-team football once again.

He believes he is enjoying the best form of a career which stagnated at The Den last season, leaving the midfielder frustrated.

His partnership alongside Tom Naylor in the holding roles has been outstanding, helping Pompey to a five-point gap at the top of League One.

Should his departure be cleared, the Blues must recruit a replacement, yet it remains a tough ask considering how influential the long-time Millwall fan has been.

Andy Cannon has already signed up, yet is seen as an attacking midfielder, while they are closing in on a loan deal for Nottingham Forest's Ryan Yates.