Cantwell, who was one of Michael Beale’s major signings during his time as Rangers boss, was handed a start against St Mirren at Ibrox on Sunday.
The former Norwich City man clocked 86 minutes and provided both assists for Rangers’ two goals as they beat St Mirren 2-0.
Thompson believes that Cantwell needs to be high on confidence to play his best football and thinks the midfielder also needs to feel the adulation of the Rangers fans.
The ex-Rangers hitman said on BBC Sportsound: “Todd Cantwell is a confidence player and had a much better second half after being involved in the first goal.
“He thrives on the crowd getting behind him, when he does something good he wants the adulation.”
Cantwell will be looking to put down a marker over the coming weeks to convince new boss Philippe Clement that he should be one of the first names on his team-sheet.
Clement is expected to do business in the rapidly approaching January transfer window, while the boss will also look to shape the squad to his liking next summer.