Kyle Dempsey hopes a full pre-season at Wanderers will help him put his recent injury frustrations firmly behind him.

The midfielder joined the Whites from Gillingham on deadline day but his initial months at the club were impacted by a series of niggles.

Dempsey now feels in good shape and is keen to make an impact on the pitch during the upcoming season.

“I think it is probably what I needed,” he told the club’s YouTube channel. “Obviously, I came to Bolton and was really excited. I had seen how the club was, how the fans were and the drive from the gaffer and the team.

“I just wanted to be part of it but I don’t think I was physically there, especially coming off the back end of a knee operation in December.

“I just kept picking up little niggles – groins, hamstrings – and I just knew my boy wasn’t there.

“I’ve spent a good six weeks in the off-season just building myself back up and getting myself to where I know where I should be. I have come back and am absolutely flying, so I am delighted with that.”

Dempsey is now settled at Wanderers and has built relationships with his team-mates off the pitch, which he hopes will pay off in the coming months.

He added: “I think it was one of those where I was having a really good game and then the next game I would pick something up in training and be put back onto the bench.

“I couldn’t really build up a three or four game period where I could show everyone what I can do.

“I think the fans just saw glimpses, whereas this time I am trying to solidify my position, show what I can actually do and try to play every single game that I am available for.

“I am starting to get to know the lads, starting to know the way that they play and develop relationships on the pitch.

“I have become really good friends with a lot of the group now so I think that is definitely going to help me this year.

“I feel settled, I feel at home at this club and am excited to see what the season brings. Hopefully, it’s a really successful one for us.”

Dempsey was one of seven new signings in January as the Whites finished the season strongly, ending up ninth in League One.

But the 26-year-old insists they aren’t resting on their laurels and are keen to keep improving ahead of the new season.

“From January, the form that we were in - we picked up a lot of points and showed people what we can do,” he said.

“I think the only criticism we had was when teams sat back and allowed us to have possession is how to break them down.

“The main focus of coming back is improving on that. The gaffer and the staff do loads of work behind the scenes and work under massive detail. For us it is just putting it onto the pitch and starting the season off really strong.

“I think it’s exciting more than anything. I think you have seen that from the fans’ reaction as well – they are excited about this group. They are excited to see what we can do and what we can bring, and now it is just down to us.

“We have to deliver 110 per cent on a daily basis and take that into Saturdays and just get as many points as possible.

“You just can’t wait. Especially at a club like this with the fan base that we’ve got, you just want to be out there performing.

“You want to be doing well and you want the fans getting behind you. They are a fantastic set of fans and I think that is the most exciting think for me. I only got three or four months of playing in front of them.”