Select Page

Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey wants the Cottagers to net more goals this year in order to better last season’s eighth-place finish.

The 28-year-old has been an integral player for the Whites since joining the club from New England Revolution in January 2007, becoming a cult hero in west London in the process.

During Dempsey’s four-and-a-half-year spell at the club, Fulham have established themselves as Barclays Premier League regulars and even made it to the Europa League final last year.

Now the United States international has targeted even more success and believes the added flair brought by recently-appointed Martin Jol can help the team push forward.

“We want to better what we did last season,” he said. “We have a good core group of guys who have been here through the most successful period.

“These last three years have been great. We want to make a good run in the Europa League and see what we can do in the cups.

“We’ve got more depth to our team and I think we’re going to be a tough team to play against.

“I think we are going to try to play with a little bit more attacking flair [this season], although I thought last year we were pretty good in attack as well.

“But getting the outside backs to push up more forward and take more risks, as long as they’re calculated, is going to add to our attack, so hopefully we can continue to score goals and try to keep as many clean sheets as possible.

“We’ve always been a team that was tough to break down and hopefully we can maintain that but add more goals to the season.”

Dempsey was speaking after Thursday night’s Europa League third qualifying round clash with RNK Split at Craven Cottage.

After enduring a tough goalless draw in the first leg in Croatia last week, the Cottagers saw off the Reds 2-0 on home soil thanks to goals from Andrew Johnson and Danny Murphy.

The match also marked Dempsey’s return to the team after a prolonged break following his exertions on international duty at the Gold Cup.

While some have suggested the midfielder could struggle due to the amount of football he has played over the summer, Dempsey was philosophical about the break.

“I had 24 days, something like that. It is what it is,” he said.

“Your career is short and you have to make the most of it. It is trying to find the right balance.

“You can’t really take too long off because when you take a long period of time off it is difficult to come back, you start picking up injuries.

“It is almost better to stay fit almost all year round.

“But you do need a bit of a break and I feel I got enough of a break and I’m ready to put in a good season.”

Speaking on yesterday’s match, he added: “It was good, first half I thought we had good movement and good possession, we created chances.

“Then second half I thought they pressed the game, it was difficult to play but we ground out a result.

“For me it was good to get 80 minutes and trying to get my fitness up. I’m still not 100% there, it’s only going to come with time.

“But for my first game back I felt pretty good.”