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INTERVIEW: Play as much as possible

6 August 2014

Kyle Dempsey talks about the winning mentality in the dressing room

Attacking midfielder Kyle Dempsey spoke to us on Tuesday morning about a successful pre-season and his hopes for the season ahead.

"I didn't expect pre-season to be as hard as it was at the start," he revealed. "It was nice to get into the games straight away rather than it gradually building up. 

"I keep myself fit anyway but, without being disrespectful to last year's group, the lads came back looking extremely fit and everyone was more than ready for it. Everybody wants to impress the manager during pre-season, especially the new lads, so that made training very competitive." 

"I've been really pleased with the amount of pitch time I've got," he said. "I didn't expect to play as much as I have done, and I really enjoyed playing in front of our fans against St Mirren. It was good to get another 45 minutes and a chance to show the supporters what I'm capable of.

"Everything seems to be going well for me at the moment. I think you can really tell when you're confident because of the way you play. Mind you, a goal and an assist during pre-season has definitely helped with that. The goal against Dumbarton was a decent finish and it was made even better because I'd only just come off the bench. As soon as I was one-on-one I knew I needed to finish it to make sure I made my mark on the game." 

"I love scoring goals but I could hear Danny [Kearns] screaming at me for the goal against St Mirren," he told us. "If I'd taken the shot and missed I knew he would have had a right go at me. It was actually the same situation as Dumbarton, because I had the chance to square it to him then, so I thought I should give him this one.

"I watched it back on the highlights and I was pleased I'd chosen to give it to Danny rather than just trying to smash it in. I seemed to know what I was going to do before I even went past the man and I think he took it really well. Rather than trying to pass it, then get it back, my first thought was to go direct and it obviously worked out well." 

"When I set the goal up, and Danny scored, I obviously heard the fans cheering," he said. "It was a great feeling. They've given me a really good welcome and I just want to play in front of them as much as possible this season.

"Kav has said he's been really pleased with my attitude since we came back and that is where I get my confidence from. When I get put down it makes me want to work even harder, so when Kav gives me compliments it's nice to know he's happy with how I'm playing. It makes me want to keep reproducing that type of thing in the next game or in the next training session." 

"I think it's an obvious thing to say that I would love to get some minutes against Luton and try and cement my place in the squad," he admitted. "There's a really good feeling in the group and I think everybody just wants the season to start so we can start putting the wrongs from last season right. 

"There are a lot of new faces and we don't want what happened last season hanging over us. We just want to win games. We all want to finish next season as high as we can and there's a real winning mentality right through the squad."

On where he likes to play, he said: "I started off pre-season in midfield and I've gradually moved forward. 

"I've played a couple of games as a centre forward lately and Kav has said he's been impressed with how I've handled myself there. Playing alongside Billy Paynter is brilliant because he's got loads of experience. He's always trying to help me out and he is giving me advice which is definitely improving my game.

"Being a local lad is really good because when you score all of your mates are telling you how pleased they are for you. Everybody I see in Maryport congratulates me and that gives me another confidence boost. It makes me want to keep working hard, not only for myself and the team, but for the fans as well."

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