Millwall are seeing the best of Ben Thompson thanks to his loan spell at Portsmouth according to the midfielder.

Thompson was recalled from Pompey in January after six months at Fratton Park has shone at The Den since his return, most recently in the 2-0 victory over promotion chasing West Brom.

It was his time on the south coast under Kenny Jackett however that the 23-year-old feels was what made him the vital player he’s been for the Lions since the turn of the year as they eek their way to safety.

“I’m doing things I wouldn’t have done last year,” he said.

“I feel this year is the only time I’ve played with freedom.

“I wasn’t wanted at Millwall, and I wanted to prove people wrong, and the only way I could do that was to play with freedom as I know I can.

“I wanted to prove the manager wrong in a sense because he sent me out on loan as he thought that was best for me at the time.

“And I think it was, because I’ve come back a better player than I was before.

“Now I’m playing with freedom and just feel like -‘what’s the worse that can happen?,' it’s a game of football at the end of the day.”

READ: Millwall's Neil Harris hails side after 2-0 win over West Brom

Thompson was instrumental in his side’s second goal on Saturday and despite jokingly trying to claim Ahmed Hegazi’s own goal, the academy graduate is already enjoying his richest vein of form in front of goal with three strikes in as many games, and he credits Pompey for that.

“I went on loan to get that confidence back.

“Just playing in the cup games and coming on as a sub every now and then was demoralising.

“It was a horrible, horrible place to be in and I didn’t want to be in that position again.

“I just wanted to play my football, week in week out.

“You can’t beat that buzz on a Saturday afternoon, knowing you’re going out in front of ten, 15, 20 thousand fans at Pompey, you can’t beat it!”

'Why aren't I playing?'

Thompson’s resurgence as a regular starter now under Harris seems a far cry away from where the player was at the back end of last season when he amassed just eight appearances for Millwall all season.

“The team did so well, I couldn’t argue,” he continued.

“I’d never played in the Championship before so couldn’t tell the manager ‘I’m better than these players, why aren’t I playing?’ because they were doing well, so it was tough.

“Obviously every game you want to play in, but now I feel I’ve cemented my place at the moment and long may it continue.”

Thompson’s brief stint at Portsmouth was a huge success as he left with a huge amount of gratitude from their fans. The feeling was reciprocated too, and Thompson admitted he was at their Wembley day out for the Checkatrade Trophy win over Sunderland a fortnight ago.

“Nice to see some old faces, friends, nice to stay in contact.

“What a game to watch, it was brilliant.”

READ: Report: Millwall 2 West Brom 0 - Thompson inspires crucial win

READ: Player ratings from Millwall's 2-0 win over West Brom