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INTERVIEW: I'm pleased to have done it

Kris Dennis on 20 league goals and player's player of the season recognition

3 May 2023


INTERVIEW: I'm pleased to have done it

Kris Dennis on 20 league goals and player's player of the season recognition

3 May 2023

When Kris Dennis netted Saturday’s penalty, with five minutes of normal time left to play, it took his personal tally to 20 league goals for the season and, with the play-offs looking likely, it’ll be a brave person who bets against a few more being added to that already impressive total.

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A loan spell with Macclesfield back in the 2015/16 season saw him register 23 strikes in all competitions, with 21 from the 2017/18 campaign with Chesterfield the other occasion when the 32-year-old has reached into the 20s.

Speaking about the 21 overall that he’s notched for the Blues so far, he said: “If you’d said that I’d do this at the start of the season I’d have snapped your hand off.

“Hopefully I can get a few more and have a good end to the season. I’d say most would players set out for 15 to 20 goals and hopefully others chip in as well.

“I’m just happy to have done that, and we’re in a good position. Hopefully my goals have contributed to that and I can get some more.”

“I’ve not scored as many as I’d like in the second half of the season but hopefully we’ve got a lot to play for come next week,” he continued. “If you look at the strikers we’ve got, every one of them would play in most teams in the league.

“You have to do your job because if you’re not you’ll be out and someone else will come in. it keeps you on your toes.

“I go out every game to try and score a goal but first and foremost get the win. If I can do that usually we’re there or there abouts, and we’ve now just got to keep going.”

With him having mentioned summer scoring targets, we wondered if he’d predicted that there’d be a promotion opportunity to chase down as that first game of the season against Crawley approached.

“I did, to be honest,” he revealed. “I looked around and thought, we’ve got some team here.

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“If we can get up towards the top at the start, which we were, we’ve been top ten nearly all season, we could beat anyone one our day, as we’ve seen.

“Hopefully we get in the play-offs next week and it would be a nice way to end the season. We’ve just got to believe in ourselves for a few more games and hopefully have a nice trip out at the end of it all.”

“I think we can see it over the line, but it’s easy saying it,” he continued. “We’ve just got to go out and do it, get the rub of the green over the next few weeks and see where it can take us. 

“People say there was a wobble, but I think we knew what sort of run-in we had. You’ve got to play everyone at some time, and we’ve had the teams at the top consecutive weeks.

“I think we’ve just got to stay confident and see what the next few weeks brings. Getting it doen would be amazing. I’ve never had a promotion in my career, so to do it at Wembley would be the cherry on the cake. 

“And we’re not taking anything for granted at Sutton. We’re going there for the win, and then we’ll see where we finish. We’re not going there to just scrape a point. I think we’ll go for the win and see where that leaves us. 

“And once you’re in the play-offs the previous 46 games don’t count. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done the week before, two weeks before, through the months before.

“Those two games are the biggest games of your life, of your career. To win them and go to Wembley would be a dream, so we’ll be looking to achieve that.

“A few lads have been there and done it, like Hunts and Garns, they’ve been there and won at Wembley. I think that’ll help, because I’ve only been there and lost. Hopefully that will change this season - fingers crossed.” 

And bending the conversation back to his own achievement, which ended a 17-year wait for the club for a 20-goal man, he told us: “I probably wouldn’t have got as many without the players around me, they’ve all been class, so hopefully with a few more games to go we’ll get a few more.

“I think the way we’ve played has helped. Getting the ball down, playing, getting crosses in and when I get the chance I back myself to score.

“It’s brilliant to have got 20, and because it was the penalty there was a bit of pressure on it, considering how the game was going, and Mellish getting sent off before it. The thought was to score this penalty, get to 20, and worst case get a draw.

“On a personal level this season is right up there for me. I’ve scored a few goals in my career before but they’ve not really amounted to anything in terms of playing for something towards the end of the season.

“To score goals and contribute the way I have has been good, and hopefully we have a good finish.

“As for my favourite from the goals, maybe Wimbledon, the header that got us a win. I’d missed a sitter against Mansfield a few days before and it was a late one as well, and it got us back on track.”

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Sunday evening brought a well-deserved accolade for the forward, with the Players’ Player of the Season award secured following a vote by his peers.

“Someone said it’s between you and Mox when the voting was happening, the lads were all talking about it, and it was nice to win it,” he commented. “For them to vote me that, and to win it, I was buzzing with it.

“I train with them every day, it’s really good. It means more than most. I’m not saying the other awards are rubbish, but to get it from the lads, it means more to me, definitely.

“Adding a promotion would be unbelievable. I know you’d rather go up automatically and get a few weeks’ extra holiday in the summer, but if you’re guaranteed to win at one place it’s got to be Wembley, hasn’t it?

“Everyone’s going to give their hardest over the next couple of weeks and fingers crossed we get there.

“We want it for the fans as much as anything. Home and away it’s been amazing. Hopefully we can give them something to shout about come the end of May.”

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