Dempsey dreaming of Europa League glory
Fulham's match-winning hero Clint Dempsey believes Fulham have what it takes to go all the way in the Europa League after last night's shock hammering of Juventus.
The Cottagers, who were 3-1 down from the first leg, produced a stunning comeback at Craven Cottage to beat the Serie A giants 4-1 on the night and seal a 5-4 aggregate win.
The reward for Roy Hodgson's men is a mouth-watering quarter final against German side Wolfsburg, who beat Rubin Kazan to qualify for the last eight.
Last night's victory heralded the latest chapter in an incredible season for Fulham and the win was all the more remarkable given that they went behind to a David Trezeguet goal inside two minutes.
Dempsey's clever chip sealed Fulham's passage to the quarter finals and he firmly believes getting to the final in Hamburg is a distinct possibility.
"Can we go all the way? Why not? If you work hard and you believe, there's always a chance. And I believe," the America forward said.
"We're a team that has a lot of character and that has a lot of heart.
"Everybody thought it was over when we went 1-0 down but the character and the heart of the guys began to show, we fought back and to get the result we did was incredible."
Progressing to the last eight of the competition is by far Fulham's biggest achievement in Europe, with their previous best a third round UEFA Cup appearance eight years ago.
The victory also demonstrates how far Fulham have come under the stewardship of Roy Hodgson, who took charge at the club in December 2007 when they were on the verge of relegation.
After saving the club from the drop Hodgson guided his side to a seventh place finish in his first full season at Craven Cottage.
Dempsey believes last night's victory could inspire Fulham to success in the Barclays Premier League and in the FA Cup - where they face Tottenham Hotspur in a quarter final replay on Wednesday.
"To go from relegation candidates to the quarter finals of the Europa League is crazy," said the 26-year-old, who signed from New England Revolution in January 2007.
"But you always have to be trying to better yourself and be moving in the right direction, and this club is doing that.
"We're getting stronger and stronger, and hopefully we can push further in this competition and in the FA Cup, and see if we can try to finish where we did or higher in League than last season."
Hodgson insists his side must not get carried away with the victory and underlined that point by instructing his players to come in for training today ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League game with Manchester City.
Dempsey is pushing for a start alongside Bobby Zamora up front after fully recovering from a knee injury which threatened to end his season in January.
Dempsey scored the equaliser against City in the reverse fixture earlier this season and he has warned it will take him time to get back to his best.
"To me, scoring that goal says to me that I'm back after my injury," said Dempsey.
"I've just to keep working hard and get my fitness back and get that sharpness and get the form that I had before I got injured."
Fulham will welcome back captain Danny Murphy and Jonathan Greening for Sunday's game after the midfield duo missed last night's game through suspension.
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