Thompson: Signing Millwall deal an 'easy choice'

BEN Thompson said there was never a chance he wouldn’t sign a new contract after he extended his stay with Millwall.

Thompson joined his boyhood club when he was 16 and his new deal will take him to a few months shy of his 25th birthday.

The Lions midfielder said discussions were straightforward.

“It’s been going on for a few weeks, my agent talking to the club and the club coming back to us,” he said. “I’m glad it’s out of the way and I can concentrate on my football again.

“It was very quick, normally contract (negotiations) can be ongoing for months and months. For me it was an easy choice and everything got sorted pretty easily and pretty quickly.

“It was all I wanted and I’m delighted I can be here for another three-and-a-half years.

“I wanted a long contract and stability and to be at the club as long as I can. The club obviously see me as a future player in whatever league we’re in and it’s a great feeling.

“The club wanted me and I wanted to stay here, it was mutual.”

Thompson paid tribute to the club’s staff, including vice-captain Steve Morison and manager Neil Harris, who was boss of the U21s when Thompson joined the academy.

“It’s been unbelievable. When I first came in and found out he was my manager, he was my idol when I watched him when I was a kid,” Thompson said.

“It’s been the best experience ever and I’m learning from the best. I’m learning from Steve out there, all the other players, the manager, Dave Livermore, Scott Fitzgerald. They’ve all been a massive help along the way and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.”

Thompson played his 34th game of the season on Wednesday night (above) as Millwall played out a frustrating scoreless draw with Walsall.

“They came and sat in, they knew we were a threat up front,” he said. “They played very defensively and they were hard to break down.

“We didn’t have the end product but didn’t play too badly. Watching it was probably boring, and at the end of the day we just didn’t put the ball in the back of the net.

“They crammed the middle of the park and sat back in their shape. It’s hard to break down when teams do that.

“We’re going to experience it again throughout the season, teams are going to come to The Den and know our threats and how good we are up top with the chances we create.

“We’ve got to deal with that and hopefully get points on the board.”

The draw against Walsall came three days after they had knocked Watford out of the FA Cup. Thompson denied that was a factor in the flatness of their performance on Wednesday as they look for a first away win in the league since November when they travel to Coventry this Saturday.

“I think everyone felt okay before the game,” Thompson said. “There was a little bit of tired legs before the game but we shook that off in the first half.

“Other than that we were raring to go but it didn’t fall for us.

“Saturday is the most important game of the season for us, the next one always is. We’re got to go there and get three points.

“That’s the only aim, really.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly