Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton hailed the fire and fighting spirit of Kyle Dempsey and said the midfielder will have opportunities in his side.
READ MORE: Bobby Grant is expected to leave Fleetwood in January
Dempsey was one of the first names on the teamsheet under Uwe Rosler and a regular fixture under John Sheridan too.
But when Joey Barton took over in the summer he spoke of the need for the 23-year-old to add more goals to his game, having scored only three in two seasons at the club.
Dempsey has made only made five league starts this season, but after scoring his first goal of the campaign in Tuesday’s 3-1 Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Bury, the Cumbrian was one of few players praised by Barton.
The Town boss spoke of his wish to offload players in January but said opportunities would arise for Dempsey (left) at Highbury, though he can still improve.
“Demps has shown he has a lot of fire,” said Barton. “It has not been plain sailing for him. He has not been first-choice, having been a regular starter over the last few years.
“But he has shown a real desire. He still has lots of improvement, don’t get me wrong, but he wants to be a player.
“His conduct has been first-class. It is just a case of him getting an opportunity in the team and staying in.
“Demps will get opportunities because he is a real fighter. He has shown he wants to be part of the group”
That is not the case with others who played at Bury. Barton added: “It is difficult for the lads when we make eight or nine changes and expect them to all knit together.
“But in life sometimes you only get one opportunity. Some of these lads have had five, six, seven and they are not making the most of it.”