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Thompson talks international break, Swansea and derby games

We catch up with the midfielder over the international weekend

19 November 2019

Ben Thompson has expressed his delight at Millwall’s dramatic victory over neighbours Charlton Athletic in The Lions’ last outing, and claims derby contests “are what you play football for”.

The local lad sums up a joyous mood in the camp following the three points at The Den, with the team continuing to work hard at Calmont Road over the international weekend.

“It was a great win and a brilliant atmosphere against Charlton as always,” Thompson says.

“To get a last-minute winner was even better. The boys were so buzzing in the dressing room after the game, you could see how much it meant to everyone and it was a great result for us. Derby games are what you play football for.

“It typifies what a great group we have and the attitude was terrific. Smudger was brilliant – you stand up a ball like that in the last minute and he’s going to eat it up.”

Thompson discusses his gratitude to be playing regular football for The Lions and to pick up where he left off following the appointment of Gary Rowett as manager, and says there is admittedly an added intensity to games against certain League opponents.

“Every game in the Championship is important no matter who it’s against.

“I go out there thinking that this is all just brilliant, just playing Championship football week-in, week-out.

“There is obviously an extra edge in certain games against different opponents – the Charlton game was an example of that especially with the pressure of our record against them – but it’s a great feeling to play in these sorts of games in general.”

The third international break of the season is the last until late March, and whilst Championship action has again been absent, Thompson says the work on the training pitch to attempt to break our away duck at Swansea City this weekend has been a huge advantage.

“The international break has as ever given us time on the training pitch to evaluate and work on a few things. We’ve looked at our shape, the tactical and technical sides of our game, and it’s really been something we need.

“The biggest focus is to work on our away form – that really is key. It’s not been great, and to fix that would really push us up the table.

“Swansea present us with another opportunity to improve our away record, but they’re a big club and a big challenge – what a game it could be for us, that’s how we see it. The fans will travel in their numbers and it will be a good occasion for us.”

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