Clint Dempsey emerged from the bench on Saturday to score the goal that effectively guaranteed Fulham’s top-flight status for another season. The American exchanged passes with Liam Rosenior in the 69th minute before clipping his finish over Pepe Reina, scoring what he referred to as one of the most important goal of his career.
“It was a great ball by Liam and I just tried to put it on frame and it went in the back of the net,” said Dempsey after the game. “The defence played well and it was nice to get the goal. It would have been better if I could have kept possession for the team a bit better.
“I’m just trying to enjoy the moment and keep a level head because things can easily go up but they can easily go down. I’ve got to make sure that I continue working hard and I’m on the field more often. I think I can be a success in English football, if I didn’t think that then I shouldn’t be here. I believe in myself and if you don’t have belief, you won’t succeed.”
Dempsey, an attacking midfielder by trade, is no stranger to playing up front and he certainly had no qualms when he was told to get on the pitch and lead the line with fellow American, Brian McBride.
“The Manager just wanted me to get forward, share the workload with Brian as far as winning 50/50 challenges in the air,” he said. “He wanted me to get some shots on goal and my first shot was the one that went in.
“My natural position is attacking midfield but with the national team I’ve played right midfield and with the Revolution, my MLS team, I played attacking midfield and a little bit as forward. The first game I played as a forward was against Stoke, they put me up top against Arsenal last week and against Liverpool, so I’ve only played this position three times with Fulham.
“But I enjoy it, I like going forward and getting involved in the attack. I’ve still got a lot of work to do. I just want to stay on the field – if that means playing up top then I’m excited about that because I like scoring goals.
“It’s been disappointing; I haven’t been playing much and didn’t really feel like I was able to contribute much. It felt like today was payback for the Club getting me from the MLS. I was able give something back to Fulham, who fought so hard to get me.”