Clint Dempsey reckoned Fulham have the right players to deal with a relegation battle – because most of them have been in the mire before.

The USA striker was also adamant his team showed ‘character’ when they came from 1-0 to rescue a point against Birmingham on Saturday – with Dempsey powering a far-post header to level in the second half.

But the American and his club are still only a point ahead of Wigan and the dropzone after collecting just three points from their last five games.

He said: “We were taking the game to them before Birmingham scored.

“But we wanted to show character after last week’s game against Man City, although it’s frustrating with so many draws.

“Lots of guys have been here when it’s been backs-to-the-wall, including me, two out of the four years I’ve been here.”

There was a measure of frustration from Fulham fans as well, with a spattering of ‘Hughes out’ calls in the first half after manager Mark Hughes was forced into a reshuffle of his back four after a recurrence of an ankle injury to left-back Carlos Salcido.

But Dempsey easily brushed off the premature shouts for the boss’s head, although the player had sympathy for supporters.

He added: “We believe in the manager – and we can only keep working for him.

“It’s not wrong of fans to expect more. After last season, we’ve come to expect more of ourselves.”