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Gillingham v Fleetwood Town preview: Former Town player Kyle Dempsey an injury doubt for Gills

Kyle Dempsey is one of several key men in a race to be fit for Gillingham’s game on Saturday.

Dempsey will be keen to feature against weekend visitors Fleetwood Town, a team he was with for the past four seasons before making the summer switch to the Gills.

Kyle Dempsey on the ball for Gillingham against Hull City Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kyle Dempsey on the ball for Gillingham against Hull City Picture: Barry Goodwin

Manager Evans says three or four players are in danger of missing the match through injury.

He said: “When people put their bodies on the line they do pick up niggles and strains. We have to make sure we are putting a team that are 100% on the pitch.

“We’ve got lots of injuries and there will certainly be changes because of it but they will remain in house and we will pick a team to try and beat a team who I think will be in the top six.”

Dempsey has had a stop-start introduction to life at Priestfield, injuring his ankle and then picking up another knock that kept him out on Tuesday. He’s made just two league appearances so far.

“He is probably 60-40 against,” said Evans, when asked on Friday morning about he likelihood of a return to face Fleetwood.

“We have some big players missing but that gives an opportunity to others and that will be the message to the squad. No one has the right to be in our team. Dempsey is probably, individually, our best player and every time he is not on the pitch it hurts us. We saw that at MK Dons where for the first hour he was the best player on the park, for me, but hopefully we will get some good news. If he doesn’t make it he will be reconsidered for Tuesday.

“We have to have the confidence in the players that play. They may not have played regular but they have to say, ‘I am here and I want to play and I am going to produce a performance that keeps me in the team.’

Fleetwood have had a hit and miss first few weeks of the season but Evans knows it’s a side full of quality, managed by Joey Barton.

The Gills boss said: “I am expecting good players to come off the team coach and a manager that takes criticism from a lot of quarters. I don’t profess to know the guy very well but I knowhim enough to know he will manager at a much higher level than League 1, wherever that ends will depend on his results.

“We are expecting a real tough game, I would think our hardest game of the season. They have a plethora of options and have big resources which get well spent in fairness to Joey Barton.

“It is kids against experience. They have some wonderful experienced players, they are full of class players but it doesn’t give them a right to come and beat us, you have to earn it.

“If we win tomorrow we will be in the top seven or eight. That’s incredible, people have to have a look at themselves in terms of those who criticise.

“The team coming tomorrow are not the biggest spenders but they spend three or four times what we do. It will be tough but it won’t be down to what we spend when it comes to kick off, it will be down to who produces a performance.

“I have every confidence that if my team play well then we will win the game.”

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