BEN Thompson would welcome the addition of Tim Cahill to the Millwall squad – but insisted the squad would not be distracted by rumours of the Lions favourite’s potential return to the club.
Millwall boss Neil Harris confirmed after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Rochdale that discussions were continuing with his former team-mate.
Thompson admitted Cahill was his “boyhood hero”. Cahill, 38, made his Lions debut when Thompson was just two years old – but they could end up playing alongside each other this season.
“He’s my favourite player, my boyhood hero,” Thompson said. “Obviously I’ve heard all the rumours about him but we don’t focus on that. We need to focus on Tuesday night and Derby.
“All that stuff is in the background, that’s what the staff are here for and what happens will happen.
“I’d love to play with him, I watched him as a kid, watching his leap and his headers. He’s a great player. Whether he comes or not I don’t know.
“If I got the chance to play with him it would be a great experience, I could learn things from him. But we’ll have to see.
“We’ve got the likes of Tony Craig, Steve Morison, Jason Shackell who has just come in, I learn from them. Shaun Williams, I’ve been learning from him the last two or three years.”
Thompson scored his second goal in successive games, in added-time on Saturday, to earn Millwall a fourth-round replay.
He admitted he has been frustrated at his lack of first-team chances this season, but hopes he has given his manager Harris “food for thought” with his game-rescuing effort.
“We were in it the whole time, we can go and score a goal at any point. We brought on Steve Morison, Lee Gregory and should have scored more goals,” Thompson said.
“We weren’t at 100 per cent today, we need to go there and give a better performance.
“But Tuesday’s the real test against Derby, we’ve got to sort ourselves out, recover and do all the things right for then.
“It’s been frustrating for me, I haven’t played much. I’ve come on four times in the Championship this season. To get the chance in the cup is pleasing and when I’ve come in I think I’ve done alright and given the manager food for thought.
“That’s all I can do, really, come into these games and give 100 per cent and give the manager something to think about.
“I hope to start in most of the cup games this season, but that’s down to the gaffer.
"Me and the manager have been speaking and goals are something I need to add to my game.
“I’m happy the last two games I’ve played I’ve done that.
“I thought they played really well, very good football, and that’s the beauty of the cup, them coming here and expressing themselves.
“That’s not our best but fair play to them, they did well.”
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