firstname.lastname@example.org Ben Thompson has revealed he is doing extra finishing work – with the Millwall midfielder keen to open his goal account this season.
The 23-year-old proved a decent attacking option after arriving back at The Den in January following a loan at Portsmouth. Thompson played a number 10 role behind Lee Gregory last season and netted four times in a six-game period. A torn hamstring ruled him out for the closing weeks.
Thompson has played 652 minutes in the 2019-20 campaign without getting on the scoresheet.
“Finishing is massive,” he said. “I want to score as many goals as I possibly can. I scored a few last season and have not got one yet. I’ve got to keep practising.
“When you get those chances you need to take them – that’s the Championship.
“I had a header away at West Brom at the back stick that I should have put away. There were a couple of chances in that match I should have done better with.
“I didn’t really have one at the weekend. I need to get in those positions and get the ball in the back of the net. Last season it happened for me. Once I get that first one it will give me a lot of confidence to go and get a lot more.”
Millwall are eighth in a table for home form this season – and five of those clubs above them have played an extra match on their home turf. They are 19th when you flip it around to away results.
Unless they can get more productive on the road then the onus is on them to keep producing wins in SE16.
“The Den has always been an important place for us,” said Thompson, a Lions fans growing up.
“It’s a great place to go and stamp our mark on teams.
“That’s vital for our season. We need to keep The Den a fortress, make sure we get good results there and keep the fans happy. It’s a results business and we’ve been getting results there. We love it that teams are afraid of coming here.
“We need to pile on the pressure [against QPR on Saturday] and make sure the performance is right. As long as we’re all at it, it should be a successful day.
“We need to get a win away from home. That’s got to be a big target for us – to improve our away form.”
Millwall are 15th in the table, an improvement of four places compared to the same point of last season.
And Thompson does not believe there is a whole lot to be down about so far.
“If you are comparing to last season then it is a very positive start,” he said. “The squad, training and standard of games has been that little bit better than last season.
“We’ve got to keep building on it. There are new players in the team – we’re still gelling and getting partnerships on the pitch.
“We’re definitely playing a bit more football than we used to. We’ve got the players in the team and ability to play a bit more, as well as still play direct.
“We’ve got to keep grinding it out and working hard on the training pitch. The team still needs to gel. It will come together and all of a sudden we’ll click.”
The Championship is a challenge. Twelve months ago and Thompson was getting ready for games with Pompey against Wycombe, Rochdale, Coventry and Gillingham. Now it is QPR, Huddersfield, Luton and Leeds.
“It’s a massive step up,” he said. “The amount of money spent is ridiculous compared to League One. Some of the talent is unbelievable – players coming down from the Premier League. Clubs have got the resources to get those players.
“Everyone is faster and stronger. It’s just a different ballgame and takes some adapting to. I’m still learning, I’m only 23. You can always get better.”