Clint Dempsey paid tribute to Fulham’s character as they overcome a half-time deficit to storm to an impressive victory over in-form Newcastle yesterday afternoon.

The American midfielder – named his country’s player of the year this week – celebrated his second hat-trick in a fortnight but was typically modest, preferring to praise his team-mates for their togetherness and spirit that dragged Fulham back into a contest that looked to be slipping away after Danny Guthrie’s stunning opener.

Dempsey admitted Fulham were well below par in a poor first half and Martin Jol’s side might have been further behind at the break.

It was definitely a frustrating first half. We didn’t have any rhythm. It had to do with them being confident from their form but also I think maybe it was in the back of our mind a little bit the result against Blackburn, being a man up, and not taking advantage of that game and losing.

But in the second half I thought we showed a lot of character and got the early penalty and Danny put it in the back of the net, which gave us confidence. Their mentality switched from thinking they were going to get three points to trying to salvage a point. We never took our foot off the gas and we were able to take advantage of our opportunities and put the ball in the back of the net.

The 28 year-old is pleased to have beaten last season’s tally of thirteen goals and hopes his scoring streak can continue.

They seem to come in waves [my] goals. I’m just trying to keep working hard and keep enjoying the moment while I can because sooner or later they dry up a little bit on you.

Hopefully I can continue with this form as long as I can because one of my favourite parts of the game is scoring goals. I always want to better myself and do better than the year before. So far I [have been] able to do that this season.

Last season I had 13 in all competitions, now I have 15 in all competitions. I have nine in the league, last season I had 12 in the league so hopefully I can do better than 12 in the league. But I’m happy with the way things are going and hopefully I can keep putting the ball in the back of the net.