Saturday 10 December 2016

Dempsey sure Fulham have turned corner

Alex Lowe

Published 06/01/2011 | 05:00

Clint Dempsey is confident that Fulham have turned the corner after Tuesday's 3-0 victory over West Brom propelled them from the relegation zone to 13th place in the Premier League.

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The bottom half of the table is congested, with Fulham one of eight teams separated by just four points, but that makes momentum and goal difference vital.

Fulham have now taken six points from their three games since the galling St Stephen's Day defeat at home to West Ham, and the victory over West Brom was comprehensive.

Dempsey, who scored the second goal at Craven Cottage, said: "It's such a tight league that if we get a good run of results we can start to move up very quickly.

"The West Ham game was very frustrating, but we've bounced back from that. We've shown character. In our last three games we've set a standard with our commitment and workrate. Now it is up to us to maintain that standard.

"I certainly think you'll see us starting to play better football."

Fulham responded to the West Ham setback, and the jeers from their fans, with a victory at Stoke and encouraging performance against Tottenham before beating West Brom.

"You sense the frustration in the crowd, but we have got ourselves out of that situation," Dempsey added.

"Now players are coming back to fitness and as soon as we get a full team, we'll see what we're capable of achieving."

Belgian striker Moussa Dembele could make his return from an ankle injury in the FA Cup tie against Peterborough on Saturday, although Andrew Johnson is unlikely to be risked after suffering a minor hamstring tear.

Fulham's injury problems are not as grave as West Brom's, who had five centre-backs sidelined on Tuesday.

A fifth successive defeat represented their worst run of results in six years, but manager Roberto di Matteo played down the prospect of any major moves into the January transfer market.

"First of all we need to get our players back, that is the most important thing," the Italian said.

"It is difficult for us. We are a small club and we are trying to do our best with the resources we have. If we can do something we will do."

Di Matteo may still be without vice-captain Jonas Olsson for the FA Cup trip to Reading. But the Swede, who is back in training after recovering from an Achilles injury, is in line for a return to action against Blackpool the following weekend.

West Brom have leaked 24 goals in 12 leagues games without Olsson and Di Matteo said: "He has been out for a long time and he's a very important player for us. We haven't lost many games with him in the team."

Irish Independent

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