Ben Thompson: I’d love to move forward with Portsmouth 

Ben Thompson has relished his recent attacking remit. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Thompson has relished his recent attacking remit. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Ben Thompson is eager for his reinvention as an attacking midfielder to gather momentum.

The high-octane 23-year-old has so far spent a career serving in a defensive role in the centre of the park.

That was until Kenny Jackett opted to push the Millwall loanee into a number 10 position during recent clashes with Fleetwood and Burton.

It represented an entirely new remit for Thompson, who has proven a massive Fratton Park hit since his August arrival.

A subsequent injury to Dion Donohue and suspension for Tom Naylor saw the experiment temporarily aborted, prompting his restoration to a holding task in Pompey’s midfield against Accrington.

But Thompson is desperate for another opportunity to establish himself in a more offensive position. 

He said: ‘I’ve been playing defensive midfield for a long while, and even at Millwall I haven't really been given that freedom to go up the pitch and attack more.

‘When I have been given that at Pompey I think I've made the most of it and enjoyed it.

‘I need to play a few more games and it will show, I’m looking forward to the future and we’ll see what happens.

‘I’ve not been regarded as an attacking midfielder before, but I feel I can do both roles. It’s the decision of the manager, it is down to them.

‘I think I can do well up the pitch and will add goals and will add assists, as I did against Burton. That’s something I would like to do for my career.

‘Goals and assists are everything in football, the more I play there the more I get used to it and can add more to the game and more to the team.

‘I believe I can perform in an attacking role. I’m small and agile with quite a low centre of gravity, while I’m quite good at beating a player with a low acceleration to get off the mark.

‘I enjoy beating players and when I get the chance will do that.

‘We play a 4-4-2 at Millwall, with one of the middle two getting forward a little bit more, but I wasn’t that one a lot of the time.

‘Who knows, maybe if the Millwall manager sees me playing there for Pompey that might give me an opportunity there in the future.’

Pompey have Tom Naylor to return to the centre of midfield against Bradford on Saturday, having served his one-match ban.

Potentially, it could see Thompson released to perform in a more advanced role.

However, Gareth Evans operated as the number 10 in the 1-1 draw at Accrington, weighing in with an assist in Oli Hawkins’ opener.

Thompson added: ‘It’s a tough role to be fair. You’ve got your back to goal and have to get into pockets and receive the ball in closed gaps while there are players around you.

‘I’ve gone back to a holding role since Dion got injured, which is so unfortunate for him, he has been in great form and it has come at a bad time.

‘Gareth (Evans) plays the number 10 role as well, so I just have to take up that challenge if it happens again.’

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