Fayed's rallying cry puts spirit back into Fulham

Fulham 1 Birmingham City 1
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The Independent Football

Clint Dempsey has described a training-ground visit by Mohamed al-Fayed as the wake-up call Fulham needed as they attempt to climb away from the relegation zone. Fayed, the club's owner, made the trip to Motspur Park last week to demand improvement, with the response seen in the second half against Birmingham City.

"He's a chairman who cares about this club," said Dempsey. "He's passionate about it and it was a kick up the backside to say: 'Hey guys what's going on?' He's right.

"We work for him. When he talks you have to listen. He commands respect and we give it to him."

Fayed was angered by the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City the previous weekend and the first half against Birmingham would not have pleased him either. After falling behind to Sebastian Larsson's strike – and getting jeered off at the interval – Fulham fought back and earned a point through Dempsey's header. "To lose 4-1 at home isn't good enough," Dempsey added. "It was embarrassing. We showed character by coming back. But it's still not good enough because we want three points."

Mark Hughes, the Fulham manager, had to endure some fans asking for him to be sacked before his team came back and earned a point. He said: "We are realistic, we understand where we are. We need points on the board and that's been a frustration to us."

Scorers: Fulham Dempsey 53. Birmingham Larsson 20.

Substitutes: Fulham Johnson (Davies, 73). Unused Stockdale (gk), Kelly, Pantsil, Duff, Dikgacoi, Greening. Birmingham Zigic (Hleb, 61), Murphy (Fahey, 85). Unused Doyle (gk), Parnaby, Michel, Beausejour, Phillips.

Booked: Fulham Dempsey.

Man of the match Dempsey. Match rating 6/10.

Possession Fulham 57% Birmingham 43%.

Shots on target Fulham 5 Birmingham 3.

Referee H Webb (S Yorkshire). Att 24,391.