Millwall midfielder wants to prove bookies wrong

BEN Thompson isn’t worried about Millwall’s underdog status in the Championship this season.

Millwall have one of the smallest transfer budgets in the division – with Middlesbrough splashing out over 30 times more on transfers this summer.

Asked this week what he thought about being one of the bookies’ favourites to go straight back down, Thompson said: “We’ve got to prove them wrong, haven't we? We’ve got to do the business on the pitch and obviously the aim is to stay up and I don't see why we can’t do that.

He added: “I think we’ll go into a lot of the games as underdogs and the money involved now and the amount of money spent on players compared to us is massive.

“I think we’ll go into every game with a lower budget and lower-paid players than anyone else. But I think that will be a good thing for us because we’ll go into the game trying to prove a point.

“We’re not going to look at the opposition and think, ‘they’re worth 10 times more than me so they should be beating us’. It’s 11 players versus 11 players on the pitch and that’s all the matters, who wants it more.

“We’re playing against bigger teams, better players and it’s going to be tough. I think every game, we’ve got to approach it with the same mindset. I don't think we’ll struggle too much. As long as we stick to what we’re good at and stick to our game plan, we should be fine.”

Thompson also picked out the stadium he is most looking forward to playing at this season.

“For me personally, I’m looking forward to Leeds away,” he said. “We’re going to have some tough fixtures and they’re going to be feisty and I think we’ll thrive under it.

“I’ve been to Leeds games before [as a fan], I can’t remember ever going to Elland Road so that’s why I’m looking forward to it.

“Steve [Morison] and Tony [Craig] have said there’s a great atmosphere there – and other players have said the atmosphere there is unbelievable when it gets rocking.”

Thompson, 21, lost his place in the Millwall side towards the end of last season, with Jimmy Abdou coming in for the last four games.

And he faces a battle for a regular spot in midfield after Lions boss Neil Harris signed George Saville and Ryan Tunnicliffe this summer.

“It’s football, that’s what happens,” Thompson said. “We’re going to have competition in every single position. I think it’s healthy competition. It’s going to make me play and train even harder. Hopefully I can get back in the side and do my thing.

“I want to play as many games as I possibly can. I want to score some goals, add assists to my game. That’s my aim for the season”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly