The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Mark Barker

PORTSMOUTH mid­fielder Ben Thomp­son in­sists his fo­cus is on the pitch, de­spite spec­u­la­tion over whether he will be re­called from his loan deal at Frat­ton Park.

The 23-year-old has im­pressed on loan from Mill­wall, lead­ing to fears among Pom­pey fans that he may be called back to The Den in Jan­uary.

How­ever, Thomp­son has played down those ru­mours and is adamant that his fo­cus is on his im­me­di­ate fu­ture with Portsmouth, rather than a po­ten­tial re­turn to Lon­don.

He said: “A few peo­ple have asked me what’s go­ing to hap­pen in Jan­uary but I’m just get­ting on with it and not tak­ing any no­tice of what hap­pens be­hind the scenes.

“It’s not re­ally down to me and so I just try to fo­cus on do­ing the best I can for Pom­pey when I’m out on the pitch.”

With Thomp­son play­ing a key part in the cen­tre of the park, Portsmouth have ce­mented their po­si­tion at the top of the ta­ble in a bid for pro­mo­tion.

A year ago, they nar­rowly missed out on the play-offs af­ter fal­ter­ing down the stretch but hav­ing pre­vi­ously been pro­moted from League One with Mill­wall, Thomp­son is con­fi­dent the team has the nec­es­sary qual­ity to go straight up this year.

He added: “I’ve won pro­mo­tion from this di­vi­sion be­fore and know that it’s a re­ally tough league but the qual­ity in our dress­ing room is sec­ond to none.

“The boys are top class and there’s no rea­son why we can’t stay where we are and have a suc­cess­ful sea­son.

“Ev­ery­one knows the prize of Cham­pi­onship foot­ball is what it’s all about and play­ers want to com­pete in as high a league as pos­si­ble. It’s an ex­cit­ing time.”

KEY: Ben Thomp­son

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