Millwall midfielder can be a key performer for Portsmouth – Lions boss in stands to watch loanee

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Kenny Jackett expects Ben Thompson to be a “mainstay” of his Portsmouth side – even if the on-loan Millwall midfielder had a period on the bench.

The Lions youngster started Saturday’s 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon. It ended a five game run of being named as a substitute for the League One leaders.

Jackett, a former Millwall manager, said: “Ben Thompson is a very good player. In some of his games he has been outstanding but in one or two others he has struggled to get to the pace of it.

“It is a learning curve when you come to a new club , especially when you have not played regular games for a while. The games come thick and fast and it can be a challenge physically. My expectation now is he settles down and just goes from strength to strength.

“I think he can be very good and a mainstay for us. He has ups and downs but has shown a terrific ability and excellent character. I think he can be a mainstay and find a higher level of consistency.”

Lions boss Neil Harris was at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Saturday to watch Thompson.

“It was a very good performance in a comfortable team victory,” said Harris. “Ben was doing what we know Ben can do. He is gaining more experience every time he goes on a football pitch.

“It is nice when you play in a winning team, it gives you confidence and enables you to express yourself a little more.

“Ben has been a good player for us over the last three years since he broke into the first team.

“Portsmouth look a strong League One team – they are big physically, well-organised and good at set-plays. They have got some good individual players and an experienced manager in Kenny, who knows the league and how to get out of the league. They’ll be a good side.”

IMAGE BY PAUL EDWARDS

South London News