Sunday’s Confederations Cup final isn’t all Clint Dempsey’s got to look forward to either. After a break to refresh his batteries following a guelling season, Deuce will be back hoping to make a mark in his first European campaign.

Dempsey, who scored eight goals for Fulham last season, says he is delighted with the progress the club have made in a short space of time.

I’ve been here two and a half years and we’ve avoided relegation twice so now to be in Europe is a total change – but it’s a good change.

As usual when it comes to discussing the reasons for the improvement over the last year, organisation is at the forefront of Dempsey’s mind.

I would say that it was down to us being more compact as a team and being tougher to break down defensively. Everybody was on the same page, well drilled, and we knew what to expect from the person next to us. It’s the whole coaching staff collectively getting everyone on the same page. Going over game tapes, discussing what to do in certain situations and having a better understanding of what’s going on.

I really have to give credit to we all fused together well and it was a great season.