Portsmouth banking on another Millwall match snub to boost Ben Thompson return hopes
Saturday is shaping up as pivotal in dictating whether Ben Thompson can return to Fratton Park this month.
Pompey have refused to give up on recapturing the loanee, irrespective of hisÂ recall by parent club Millwall.
The 23-year-old was subsequently named on the bench as Neil Harris' side faced Blackburn last weekend.
The outcome was a 2-0 defeat for Millwall, leaving them two places above the Championship relegation zone.
However, despite employing three substitutes during match proceedings, Thompson was not among them, staying unused.
NoticeablyÂ midfield rival Shaun Williams was, though, maintainingÂ his comeback after a month injured on the sidelines.
Â This forthcoming Saturday sees the Lions travel to Middlesbrough for their sole remaining league game during January.
And should ThompsonÂ be overlooked once more, there is growingÂ feeling at Fratton Park the loan could be resurrected.
Certainly the Blues will closely monitorÂ the situation, privately hoping continued lack of involvement for Thompson can increaseÂ the possibility of player frustration.
Millwall's other match this month is an FA Cup visit to Everton (January 26), with the 23-year-old ruled out having already appeared in the competitionÂ this season for Pompey.
That leaves the Riverside Stadium fixture as the only opportunity of match minutes for Thompson during the January transfer window.
He returned to The Den following Pompey's FA Cup third-round triumph at Norwich, after boss Harris implemented a recall clause.
The life-long Millwall fan totalled 27 appearances and three goals during a PompeyÂ spell credited by the midfielder as inspiring the best football of his career.
Similarly, the Fratton faithful lauded his driving displays at the heart of a team which has spent three-and-a-half months at League One's summit.
Thompson has thrived having been presented with regular first-team football at Fratton Park, profitable progress which may now halt upon his Millwall return.
Kenny Jackett has this month recruited Andy Cannon and Bryn Morris to bolster midfield options, yet the door teasingly remains open for Thompson.