Published: 06:00, 03 April 2021
Gillingham captain Kyle Dempsey says the team are being fired up by the critics.
The Gills have lost just once in the last nine but every positive result has generally been met by criticism of the way they play, from opposition managers, players, fans and the media.
Dempsey is aware of those that want to put them down but it’s doing the opposite.
He said: “Sometimes when we beat the bigger teams they talk about our style of football and stuff like that, but that personally fuels me because it is a sort of disrespect on their behalf.
“I think when we get beat by sides who are good, we show them the respect and we say they won fairly, whereas when we beat sides it is always about the style of football and this and that and for us, it just fuels us even more because we know that we are obviously in their heads, they know they have dropped big points, they see it as dropping three points against a side like Gills.
“But the individual quality that is in this team is massive, it is a very good side in League 1, in recent weeks we have shown that.”
Wednesday’s win over Wigan came from a performance that Dempsey admitted wasn’t the finest but a moment of quality infront of goal won it, with Jordan Graham’s back-heel to Ryan Jackson and his pinpoint cross to the towering in-form striker Vadaine Oliver. It was the kind of quality that Wigan were missing upfront.
The skipper said: “There is a massive belief now from everyone involved at Gillingham and you can see that in the performances we are putting in.
“It wasn’t the nicest game to watch but in this crucial period it is about finding ways to win and we are doing that at the moment. We are also being a team that is hard to break down and one loss in nine shows the form we find ourselves in, in what is probably the most crucial part of the season.”
Dempsey and his team-mates are flowing in confidence but on Monday will meet a Blackpool side who are in even better form, 12 unbeaten in League 1 and leapfrogging the Gills on Friday to take over sixth place. They have three games in hand over Gillingham too.
Dempsey said: “I know they gave a lot of games in hand over a lot of people but for us it is getting those points on the board and we have them, it is now for teams to win their games in hand.
“You have to respect this side, they have been in good form, have had some great results against some good sides but for us, we are massively confident, we have played some really good sides in the last few weeks and we haven’t been beaten.
“It is about going there and doing the exact same again and look to get the three points which would be massive for us.”