Attacking midfielder Kyle Dempsey on his first career start
First year professional Kyle Dempsey picked up the club man of the match award on Monday evening following an excellent first start of his career against Derby County.
“My first start of the season couldn’t have come in a better game really,” he said. “It was really nice to get 90 minutes under my belt in front of the fans.
“It was a completely different experience from last year when I was playing for the youth team. The fans were really supportive of me all the way through and that gave me confidence to keep going.”
“There were a few extra nerves with it being on TV,” he admitted. “I was thinking before kick off that if I didn’t do things properly then people would see a bad performance.
“I also had a full day to think about it, with it being a night kick off, but I managed to put that to one side. Once I get into my game that goes away and you get a good feeling and start getting into it. From there it went very well.”
“I think your first two or three touches are really important in any game,” he agreed. “If they go well you start to find your passes easier and overall I thought my game was fairly decent.
“I managed to get a couple of chances and I actually thought the one which got deflected was going in. I was gutted when it went over the bar but it was nice to get a few shots away. It was good to look around at the quality of the players we were up against. Richard Keogh is a superb player and it was nice to get the experience of going up against players like that.”
On his switch to a more advanced role, he said: “When I came back for pre-season I was playing as a midfielder, but I got a chance against Dumbarton to play up front.
“I got the goal in that one and I played in the same position again against St Mirren. I managed to set a goal up for Danny Kearns so it looks like it could be my position from now on.
“I said a few days ago that if I got a chance to play I wanted to take it. You have to back your words up when you say stuff like that and hopefully things went well for me. It might have given the manager something to think about and, if he wants to use me on Saturday, I’ll do my best to play well again.
“I was told I was playing on Sunday morning. The manager named the team and, with me being a centre forward, my name came right at the end. When he read my name out I took a deep breath because I knew this was a chance I had to take. He had a few words with me about what to do in and around the game but he basically said that if I played my game I’d be alright.
“This is what I’ve been aiming for since I came back. I put everything I had into pre-season, with the way I trained and played, because I’d had a taste of being involved with the first team last season. I just wanted more of it.
“With that in mind I told my mates it wasn’t going to be the way it used to be, with me going out with them, and things like that. I was determined to stick to my diet and to train as hard as I could to give myself the best chance possible.
“A couple of my mates did say this week that they couldn’t believe I was going to be playing on Sky, but it’s all about putting it to one side and concentrating on your game.”
“It was a great reaction from the fans at the end of the game,” he told us. “We were all disappointed with the result last Saturday but I don’t think we could have given any more in this one. We felt that we owed it to the fans to give a performance.
“This game has shown everyone what we can do. Hopefully we’ll take it to Wycombe and we’ll kick on from there.”
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