Loanee seeking more Portsmouth action after impressive cameo

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Ben Thompson is banking on his Gillingham cameo earning a more regular first-team presence.

The midfielder has been dislodged from Kenny Jackett’s side by Ben Close during the past month.

Ben Thompson made an impact after appearing at half time against Gillingham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Thompson made an impact after appearing at half time against Gillingham. Picture: Joe Pepler

As a consequence, the Millwall loanee who arrived at Fratton Park seeking match minutes has not started Pompey’s last five games.

Thompson delivered a reminder of his talents after replacing Close at half time in Saturday’s visit of the Gills.

The Blues suffered a 2-0 loss – a maiden league defeat of the season – yet the 23-year-old caught the eye during the team’s improved second-half showing.

And with the next league fixture at AFC Wimbledon this coming Saturday, he’s hoping to now remain there.

Thompson said: ‘I can only put thoughts into the gaffer’s head. Obviously I want to be in the team for the next game, we’ll see what happens.

‘I will give it all I can, 100 per cent, that is all I can do.

‘I came in for five games, played well and then came out of the team, that’s football, you’re going to come out of the team at some point.

‘Ben Close has gone in and done excellently, he has been brilliant in games I haven’t played. But on Saturday the gaffer wanted to change it at half time, trying to push for those goals.

‘I’ve come here for games, but had I stayed at Millwall I might not have got the games I've played here, so I look at it as a positive so far.

‘I’m still young, still learning, so playing any minutes at all is great. Obviously I want to be in the starting XI, I’ve played quite a lot of games in League One in my career and want to keep playing more and more games.

‘You want competition for places otherwise people get lazy, people don’t put it in week in, week out because they know they’re going to be in the team. That’s not a promotion-winning side.

‘You’ve got to have competition for all places – and I think we have a great balance of competition in the team.

‘No-one is too comfortable, everyone is hard working and everyone wants their place.’

Gillingham netted twice in the first half through Tom Eaves and Alex Lacey, for a lead which wouldn’t be broken.

It left Pompey with a mountain to climb during the second half – and Jackett’s men never suggested they could find a way back.

Thompson added: ‘On another day we score six in that game, but it just wasn't meant to be.

‘Coming towards the end of the first half we had to keep a second goal out of the game.

‘But in the second half there was still no reason why we couldn’t go out there and score two or three goals. We had so many chances, but it wasn’t falling for us.

‘I’ve had games like that in the past, just anything you do is not going to come off, it’s just one of those games.

‘You’ve just got to get over it and move onto the next one.’