Fulham’s Clint Dempsey has hailed Mark Hughes for showing confidence in him this season.

The American has featured regularly for the Cottagers this campaign after an injury-hit spell towards the end of Roy Hodgson’s reign.

And after scoring 11 goals in all competitions for the club this term, Dempsey has praised Hughes for allowing him to play with more freedom on the pitch.

“I just feel more of a freedom under [Hughes] to go out and try things. Also, he’s shown a lot of confidence in me in keeping me in games and moving me around in positions, in more of attacking roles in the dying minutes of the games to try and get points. And that’s something that really means a lot to me and makes me want to go out there and work even harder for him.”

Hughes is Dempsey’s fourth boss in his time at Fulham, but the midfielder has coped well with the changes and says his ability to seize on the chances he’s been given have been key to his career.

“A lot of my career has been my competitive nature and my willingness not to accept things. Just because they say this or they say that, I don’t let that affect me. I make it what it is or die trying. That’s the type of attitude I approach things with. I think that’s kind of put me in situations to get opportunities and then when I’ve gotten those opportunities I’ve been able to grab them with both hands and make something of those.”

Dempsey also says he is happy to have made an impact in a European league, adding:

“It feels good, always, to be amongst that type of company [with] the best [American] players that have gone over to Europe and been successful. But for me, it’s something that feels good, but it’s not enough. I want to keep pushing myself, keep bettering myself and see how far I can actually take it and what I can actually do with my career. I’m not really stopping and smelling the roses too much, just staying on my grind and trying to really make an impact and leave something special when I’m done playing.”