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Fulham manager Mark Hughes lauded his team’s attitude and aptitude after watching them comprehensively defeat Bolton 3-0 to propel themselves into the top 10.

Clint Dempsey scored twice either side of half-time to cap a majestic performance, before Brede Hangeland headed home the Cottagers’ third.

The USA international started the ball rolling in the first half with a superb strike, hooking in a half-cleared corner into the top corner.

Dempsey then nabbed his second of the evening three minutes after the break to see him become Fulham’s top scorer in the Premier League era.

The midfielder’s 33rd strike took him past Steed Malbranque and Brian McBride in the record books, before Hangeland stooped in to head home the Cottagers’ third.

“I am very happy with that,” said former Wales manager Hughes. “I thought we were excellent.

“It was a different test for us tonight in regards to the approach and what we had to face.

“At the weekend against Wolves, I thought we were excellent in terms of getting the ball down and playing, passing and probing.

“Tonight we obviously had to face up the physical questions that Bolton ask of you.

“I know people say Bolton have changed their approach somewhat under Owen Coyle’s leadership and they have to a certain extent but they still play to their strengths as well.

“You know you are going to have to deal with balls into your box and Kevin Davies, who is very adept at flicking things on.

“After an initial four of five minutes at the start of the first half, I think we dealt with it really, really well.

“I thought some of the play we produced was excellent and thankfully tonight we added goals to the quality of our play. It is very satisfying for everybody.”

The victory extended Fulham’s unbeaten run at Craven Cottage to seven matches, during which time they have yielded 19 points out of a possible 21.

Hughes’ side last tasted defeat at the hands of London rivals West Ham on Boxing Day, which left them facing a potential relegation battle.

However, tonight’s victory has pushed Mark Hughes’ side to ninth in the table, all-but securing Premier League survival in the process.

“You have had heard me time and time again say that I felt we are a top 10 side,” he added.

“We are in the top 10 now, I think it is only the second occasion this year that we have been in the top 10 and now it is up to us to make sure we remain there until the end of the season because that is where I feel we should be.

“I think we proved that again tonight. We have got good quality, we play the right way and I think we deserve to be in the top 10.”

The victory leaves Fulham four points behind eighth-placed Bolton.