Roy Hodgson insists that Fulham’s strike partnership of Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson will come good, despite their lack of goals this season.
The big-money pair drew a blank again on Sunday, as Clint Dempsey came off the bench to volley a late equaliser at Portsmouth.
But Hodgson remains confident that his summer signings will soon find the net on a regular basis, with just one goal between them this campaign.
Hodgson said: “I think their partnership is getting better all the time.
“There were a number of occasions against Portsmouth where we were just a toe poke away from getting through.
“I thought Zamora linked up the play well as the game went on, and they showed a real sign of what we can expect from them in the future.
“You must remember this is the third game that they have played together, and it takes time to gel.”
The Cottagers earned their first point on the road this season after Dempsey’s late strike cancelled out Peter Crouch’s effort at Fratton Park.
And the Fulham boss was delighted his side had battled back.
He added: “I was to say the least gutted when we gave away a soft goal in the second half.
“Given our recent away performances when we have been losing 1-0 without deserving it, I thought ‘here we go again’.
“But we took the game to the opposition and caused the Portsmouth defence problems.”
Fulham now face a crucial week with a midweek home clash with struggling Wigan, followed by a weekend trip to Everton.
And Hodgson is hoping the battling display on the south coast is the start of something good.
He added: “I think our spirit is a lot better than it was at times last year.
“It bodes well for the two tough matches we have this week.
“I’m hoping we can kick on from here and haul ourselves into a more comfortable league position.”