Clint Dempsey insists he will prove Mark Hughes wrong by winning over his fourth Fulham manager in four years and claiming a permanent spot in the first team.
Injuries to the Whites’ strikers have meant the Texan has been forced to fill a slot he cannot stand – the lone front man with his back to goal. But Dempsey is ready to shoulder the burden after being sidelined at the start of the campaign.
In fact, the USA World Cup international has only had two full games since South Africa and warned boss Hughes his best is yet to come – provided he gets a run in the first team.
“The only way you can be fully fit is to play 90 minutes week in, week out,” said Dempsey. “Would I like to have been given a chance from the start? Sure, but that’s life – it’s tough, but that’s the way it goes. I’ve got to make the most of my opportunities and score goals. This is the fourth time I’ve had a new manager, and it will be four years since I came here. But it’s all part of the process of proving yourself.
“Whatever position they want me, I’ll do the best I can.”
The man whose home borders the country of Carlos Salcido has also taken the Mexican under his wing.
Dempsey added: “I speak less than kindergarten Spanish – but we’re communicating. I’m telling him places to eat and places to go.
“He’s a good player and he’s learning English, so he’ll soon be speaking with all the rest.”