Millwall midfielder Ben Thompson expresses debt of gratitude to Kenny Jackett and Portsmouth

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Ben Thompson thanked Kenny Jackett for restoring confidence to his game.

The midfielder believes his loan stay at Pompey last season developed his game ‘massively’.

Thompson was a huge hit in 27 games at Fratton Park and his return to the The Den in January was  undoubtedly a key factor in a resulting slump in form.

The 23-year-old admitted arriving at Pompey on a low, but he soon saw belief return to his game.

Thompson told www.newsatden.co.uk ‘At the time I was a bit down, I was a bit gutted because I knew I wasn’t going to be involved in a Millwall shirt.

‘The loan was the best option for me to go out and get games and get my confidence back.

Ben Thompson celebrates a goal on his Pompey debut against Oxford. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Thompson celebrates a goal on his Pompey debut against Oxford. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘It all worked out in the end and I’m back playing in a Millwall shirt. I’m grateful to Kenny Jackett and Joe Gallen for what they did with me, they brought on my game massively and I feel so much more confident in myself now.

‘Kenny knew the situation at Millwall. He wanted to play me at Portsmouth, and I was three games in and did really well but then had a couple of games where I wasn’t really at it. He was speaking to me all the time, making sure I was alright and settling down in Portsmouth.

‘He pulled me aside and said, “you grab the shirt, this is your shirt to win”.. The communication between me and him was brilliant and he gave me the confidence to go out and play the best football I could. It’s helped me ever since. After that I played nearly every game and it was a great learning curve.

‘I’m just trying to replicate that now and do it for the club I love. The manager here has more confidence in me now so it’s worked out.

‘I’m not afraid now to do things on the pitch that I know I can do but maybe before I held back a bit. There were times last season when I felt so confident I was doing things out of the blue and off the cuff. It’s a brilliant feeling to have, going out there with no fear.’