BY JAKE SANDERS
Ben Thompson is looking forward to “giving it some” in the stands when Millwall host Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
The Lions midfielder, who bagged his first career brace in the 2-0 victory at Birmingham City on Wednesday, is ineligible after featuring for Portsmouth earlier in the competition.
But Thompson will be cheering his side on from the sidelines, as Jed Wallace and Ben Marshall notably did during the dramatic win over Everton in the fourth round.
“I’ll be in the stands watching,” he said. “I’ve got to make sure I’m there supporting the boys. I can’t wait to give it some in the stands!
“Obviously, you want to play but I took a bit of a knock tonight, so it’ll be nice to have a rest. You want to play every game possible, I want to play every minute of every game, that’s just me, that’s my hunger.
“It’s unfortunate that I’m cup-tied but the boys will go out there and do a job and then we focus on Leeds.”
The 23-year-old’s two goals against the Blues mean that no Millwall player has scored more than him since he returned from his loan spell at Portsmouth in January.
“It’s nice to get two goals,” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve done it in a game, it’s a great feeling.
“I would have scored two goals back in Sunday League football, but not for Millwall, not as a professional footballer.”
Millwall’s victory at St Andrew’s was their first in the Championship for five matches and moved them up to 19th in the table, although they remain just one point above the relegation-zone.
Thompson continued: “The boys came off a couple of bad results and we were not in a good place in the table.
“The mood’s been a bit down but after that the spirit is high again and we’ll go into the next game with massive confidence.
“There was a lot of pressure on us at Bolton, everyone expected us to go there and get a result. It doesn’t work like that in the Championship, everyone can beat everyone. It’s a tough league.
“It was a bad result, we knew that, but we came here and made it better, if you want to call it that. We did well here and got the three points we needed.
Thompson revealed what the mood was like around the training ground after the defeat to Wanderers – before revealing what was said in the post-match huddle at full-time against at Birmingham.
“It [the training ground] wasn’t its usual self,” he said. “I go in the changing room and everyone’s joking, having a laugh, but it wasn’t as much like that before this game.
“It’s not nice when it’s like that. We know what a tough position we’re in and we’ve got to stick together. We’re all in the same boat, we need that team camaraderie and bond we have going into every game.
“We’ve got to keep the faith, keep believing we can go and win games like we have tonight. The manager has been relaying that message, telling us how good we are and how good we can be when we want to be, playing like a good Millwall team. That’s when we are at our best.
“There are a lot of tough fixtures, the games we’ve got coming up are massive. We’ve just got to go to these away games with belief because, at the end of the day, everyone can beat everyone in the Championship.
“We’ve got a great set of lads, the boys in there are phenomenal. We just talked about sticking together the last nine games. Steve Morison had a little speech and made sure the boys are in it together and we go out there and give it everything.”
PICTURES BY BRIAN TONKS
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