Martin Jol wants fans to make peace with Clint Dempsey while Fulham prosper

Fulham 5 Norwich 0

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Martin Jol criticised the Fulham fans who mocked the absent Clint Dempsey during Saturday's 5-0 hammering of Norwich.

Dempsey, who scored 23 goals last season, did not feature after he refused to play for Fulham in the hope it would accelerate a transfer to Liverpool. The Cottagers coped admirably without him, ruining Chris Hughton's first game in charge of Norwich with goals from Damien Duff, Steve Sidwell, Alex Kacaniklic and a double from the debutant Mladen Petric.

The home fans greeted Fulham's fifth goal by chanting: "Are you watching, Clint Dempsey?" But manager Jol said: "I don't want to hear the fans chanting against him because he was a terrific player for us. He was the most productive midfield player in the whole league last season."

Norwich looked a shadow of the team that finished 12th under Paul Lambert last season.

"It was an awful day for us," Hughton said. "That's not how you want your first game of the season to go. Four of the goals were avoidable. In pre-season we have looked very solid in defence. I had no inkling this would happen."

Hughton is confident that his men will bounce back, however. "The players are hurting," the former Birmingham City manager said. "This won't be the only defeat that we will have and it won't be the only defeat that we will have by a few goals, but the players will want to react well. They know this wasn't acceptable and they want to make amends."