Captain reacts as his first goal for the club helps Gills on their way to midweek win over AFC Wimbledon.
Gills Captain Kyle Dempsey earned glowing praise from his manager Steve Evans, who suggested the ‘Championship quality player’ can become the best in his position in Sky Bet League One.
The combative midfielder, who celebrated his first goal for the Club on Tuesday evening, put in another solid performance against a stubborn Wimbledon side and is now looking to keep Gills’ unbeaten run rolling. Dempsey spoke with the local press straight after the game and addressed his personal journey and his side’s recent change in fortune.
Beating the Dons
“The first twenty-five minutes, that is some of the best football we have played. We were moving it about, we knew our identity and were winning a lot of second balls.
“We got the goal early doors but then we allowed them to get in their groove. We came out in the second-half and for about thirty minutes we dominated the game again. We looked like we were going to score a lot more than we actually did.
“We ground it out and scored again. Overall we have to be pretty pleased with the performance. We now need that belief that when we get that first goal and we are on top, we should try to get the second and third and keep going at them.”
“That was my first goal but I should have had two goals, but that post keeps denying me! I think there are going to be more goals to come now. It would have been nice to have the fans here for my goal so hopefully it’s not too long until they are back.
“I’ve seen the ball drop to Jordan Graham and he had space. As soon as I’ve seen my midfield man looking at the ball, I knew if I shift off him then Jordan, with his quality, will be able to find me. He slipped me in and I went near post.
“The build-up for both goals was really good. I think it shows that we have got the quality to do that. I’ve seen Dominic Samuel do this week in, week out in training. With the technique he has, if you get the ball in the box, he will get us a lot of goals.
“This game just shows the talent and difference in types of goals we can score.”
Returning from injury
“I wanted to hit the ground running but I suffered an injury in the back stages of last season when I thought I was flying. I’ve tried to get myself as fit as I could, so that when I do get on the pitch I can deliver performances to a high level. I’m starting to get that full-match fitness and I’m seeing the difference in my quality in the games.
“Being the captain brings out qualities that I didn’t know I had; the responsibility, the leadership. That’s helped develop my game massively. I’ve got a manager who believe in me, so hopefully I can continue to kick on.”
Back on track
“Previously in an interview, I said to the fans that they just needed to stick with us and back us. We are a lot more clinical now as a team and we are starting to put our chances away. The quality we have got in the group means we are going to win a lot more games. Our unbeaten run shows the quality we have in the group. We just have to keep believing and start climbing up that table.
“The defence have been absolutely solid. They were unfortunate to concede tonight. Wimbledon scored an unbelievable header. With the defenders setting that platform, it’s up to us boys in front to finish off the games for them.
“Now we are getting the eleven players out there which we know can deliver. The competition for places is massive. You have boys training at such a high standard, that’s now brining the competition up in the group. It’s bringing up the standard of performances in games up as well.”
A run in the Cup
“We saw in the first round that anything can happen. We played a non-league side and weathered the storm. You have to hope your quality takes care of things.
“In the third round you know you can get one of the big boys. For us, we want to showcase ourselves against the best. Hopefully we can show our quality and get the tie done on the weekend. Then it’s just about hoping you get one of the big sides in the third round.”