Dempsey | "We need to remain positive"

Skipper comments following Saturday's defeat at home to Sunderland.

Gills skipper Kyle Dempsey says it is important the squad remains positive if they are to turn performances into results.

Saturday's defeat at Sunderland was the club's fifth straight loss, however the captain feels the current run does not reflect the levels of performance. 

He also realises that this point of the season is a big test for their mentality, and he is keen to ensure heads do not drop.

He said: “It’s the character of the group now that’ll be tested, and we’ve got to stay as positive as we can.

“As skipper that’s all I can do. Encourage everybody to keep doing what they’re doing and add that clinical edge. 

“Before Alex was sent off it was probably one of the best performances we’ve put in all season.

“We were dominant in possession, we were creating chances, and we were on top. It was just unfortunate that we missed the penalty and the follow-up." 

Despite the run of form that the Gills see themselves in, the 25-year-old is positive that things will turn around.

He said: “We’ve got to stay as positive as we can, we’ve got a great group of lads, a lot of talent in the team; it’s just one of them runs that you’ve got to get through and we’ll turn it around, I’m positive of that.”

Dempsey has had the beginning of his Gills career ravaged by injury, but this was the second time he played the full 90 minutes this week.

As the Gills captain continues to find his fitness, he can already tell that his performances are improving.

Dempsey said: “I’ve had a pretty tough year this year. I’ve had a stress fracture to my back that kept me out for four months, and then I’ve come back in and ruptured a ligament in my foot and tried to come back at MK Dons but that was too early as I was unfortunate to pick up a knock.

“Now I’ve got through the two games, a week’s training and I feel a lot stronger in myself. I felt my performance today is starting to show that I’m getting up to my match speed.”

One of the many positives from Saturday's game was the display of Rob McKenzie who partnered the captain in the centre of midfield. Both players joined the Gills over the summer and Kyle was full of praise for his teammate.

He added: “I said to him after the game that I thought he was excellent in there. He gives us that balance as I like to get forward, link up the play, and he sits in there and wins everything.

“He disrupts the play, feeds it off to me and I can do my stuff higher up the field.”