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Thompson talks QPR, confidence and squad chemistry

Midfielder assesses impact of new arrivals and spirit in Millwall camp

20 September 2019

Ben Thompson has spoken of how integral it is to continue picking up points at The Den, as Millwall return home on Saturday to face Mark Warburton’s QPR.

The Lions go into the encounter having taken seven points from a possible nine in South London.

“Saturday is massive for us – a big occasion and a London derby,” Thompson told millwallfc.co.uk.

“It’s important we get the points. We need to be at it from the first whistle – we know we can perform a lot better than our result against Blackburn last week. We need to put things right.

“It’s vital that we go into the game with 100% determination, and hopefully we can get the three points at the end. It’s massive to have the fans spurring us on, and that’s definitely been key to our home success so far. Obviously, The Den is a fortress for us at the moment, and it has been for a while. To have the fans behind us throughout the game is huge, there’s that added spice with it being a London derby, and I’m looking forward to it.”

The midfielder is very complimentary about the impact of nine new recruits to the club, with Neil Harris looking to begin encouragingly on what is largely a clean slate after last season.

“The new lads have done well. Coming to Millwall to play your football isn’t always an easy task, so adapting is massive. It takes time for players to gel and get into their rhythm, and I think they slowly but surely have. They’ve settled in well and it’s massive for them to have a great set of lads in the dressing room,” Thompson explains.

“Team morale is really high around the place, so no matter how high or low things get, the boys are always staying level-headed and I think that’s the main thing.

“We needed new recruits in the summer, and the boys that have come in have really helped us, so it was important to bring in players like Mahoney, Smudger [Matt Smith], Bodvarsson and Macca [Jason McCarthy]. I’m sure they’ll carry on being key for us.”

Thompson goes on to point out positive aspects of The Lions’ start to the campaign, and highlights the training standards amongst the squad.

“I think we’ve had a really positive start, and picked up nine points – the majority of those at home.

“But if you look at our record from how we started last year, we’ve definitely made improvements and that’s certainly a positive we can take and build on. There’s more to come from us for sure, and we have to make sure we carry on concentrating, working hard in training and the standard so far on the training pitch has been unbelievable.

“The chemistry within the team is fantastic now. We all demand from each other, and it makes everyone better when we’re all pushing in the right direction, myself included. The boys who have come in have trained at a high standard at their previous clubs, and they’ve brought that with them here and bought into what we’re trying to achieve.”

The 23-year-old finally gives his outlook on his individual start to 2019/20, having ended last season as one of The Lions’ most reliable performers.

“I feel confident and like I’ve done well – some games obviously better than others – but a dip in form is something you’re going to have sometimes.

“I’m feeling very assured on the pitch and that has come from the back end of last season, and of course the beginning of the campaign on loan at Portsmouth.

“Confidence is a massive part of performance in football, and my head’s in the right place. I want to play as many games as I can and stay focused.”


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