Clint Dempsey backed to re-discover best form for Fulham

Rene Meulensteen expects the US international will quickly improve

Clint Dempsey will quickly recapture the form that made him a Fulham favourite in his first spell at the club, according to boss Rene Meulensteen.

Fulham's head coach expects United States forward Dempsey to play his way back to full sharpness, following his loan switch from the Seattle Sounders.

The 30-year-old is expected to face Norwich in the FA Cup third-round replay at Craven Cottage on Tuesday.

Dempsey struggled to impose himself in Saturday's 4-1 home Barclays Premier League defeat to Sunderland, but Meulensteen remains confident the former Tottenham man will come good.

"Clint's a fit boy and that comes pretty quickly," said Meulensteen.

"The more minutes and games he gets under his belt the quicker that will all come. It won't take long for him to be right back up there."

Dempsey scored 50 league goals in his first Fulham spell, between 2007 and 2012.

Meulensteen admitted Fulham's wasteful finishing cost them any chance of victory in Saturday's Sunderland shaming.

But the former Manchester United coach said he expects Dempsey to find that scoring knack in next to no time.

"If he could have got his head on one of those crosses in the second half it would have been good for his confidence," said Meulensteen.

"He's just got to keep working, but that's his character and that's exactly what we know he will do."

Tuesday's FA Cup replay with Norwich crowds an already-packed fixture schedule, with Fulham facing Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday in league action.

Premier League survival is the clear priority, but Meulensteen said there is no temptation to field a second-string squad against Chris Hughton's Norwich.

"Well first, the FA Cup is a fantastic competition that I respect," he said.

"If you look back on its history there are so many joyful moments.

"And secondly, nothing good comes out of losing. There's nothing positive in doing that (writing it off).

"However it is a game where we have to utilise the squad, that's normal and it would be stupid not to do it.

"That approach can give a few players that extra bit of time to recover."

Fulham playmaker Adel Taarabt has admitted he was squeezed out of the Sunderland defeat by the attentions of Black Cats midfielder Lee Cattermole.

Accepting responsibility for failing to convert one gilt-edged opportunity, the former QPR midfielder said Fulham must sharpen up against Norwich.

"If we'd have scored first it would have been a different game but we made it difficult for ourselves," he told Fulham's official website.

"I tried to make things happen but Lee Cattermole was behind me all the time and he tried to frustrate me.

"I stayed calm but the play was compact and there wasn't much space for me and Dimitar Berbatov, it was difficult.

"Credit to Sunderland but we're all very disappointed."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral