Millwall loanee relishing Portsmouth's biggest game of season against SunderlandÂ

Ben Thompson surveyed Pompey's clash against Sunderland and declared: It's the biggest game of the season.Â

Friday, 21st December 2018, 2:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:42 am
Ben Thompson. Picture: Joe Pepler

And the Millwall loanee has insisted he'll thrive in the '˜hostile' atmosphere at Fratton Park.

The Blues welcome their League One promotion rivals to PO4 today (3pm).

Kenny Jackett's leaders sit five points and two places above the Black Cats in the table.

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Ben Thompson. Picture: Joe Pepler

But with Sunderland having two matches in hand on Pompey, the result could have serious ramifications on who reaches Championship this campaign. 

Thompson is wary of the importance of the game against Jack Ross' side.

But the midfielder has pledged the Blues will play without fear '“ and will relish the battle in front of a sell-out crowd. 

He said: '˜This is definitely the biggest game so far.

'˜It's a sell-out crowd and there's going to be a hostile atmosphere '“ that's what I thrive on.

'˜I've played in big games such as play-off finals and FA Cup runs. You relish them and it's a great opportunity to show your talent and how good of a team we are.

'˜There's no reason why we'll go into it scared at all. 

'˜We've just got to keep doing what we're doing. We're enjoying playing together and we have to get out on the pitch and do a job.

'˜No-one goes out wanting to lose. We'll go and enjoy it. We're enjoying being at the top of the table, it's a great feeling, and we take the same approach as we do any other game.

'˜Obviously it's going to be more hostile but at the end of the day it's 11 players v 11 players.

'˜You don't go out thinking you're going to go for a draw. Three points is the tunnel vision and all we want is the win. If we draw, then so be it, but mainly we want the win.

'˜If you look at Sunderland and Portsmouth, they're two massive clubs. The table makes it even better of a game because we're both fighting for top spot. 

'˜It's one of the games you look out for because it's such a big club and so are we.

'˜That's what you play football for. You want to play in the biggest games possible at the highest level and I can't wait for it.'

Sunderland were the bookmakers' favourite to be promoted at the start of the season. 

Having been in the Premier League just two seasons ago, the Black Cats' playing budget dwarfs Pompey's.

Nevertheless, Thompson is certain the Blues have the quality to pick up a victory.

He added: '˜If you look at their squad, they've got a hell of a lot of good players.

'˜They've obviously got a big budget and have a lot of players who have played at the higher level.

'˜It'll be a good contest but there's no reason the ability in our changing room can't beat theirs.'