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Clint Dempsey calls for Hodgson to stay

last updated Friday 20th November 2009, 9:43 AM
Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey
Fulham midfielder
Clint Dempsey
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Fulham star Clint Dempsey has urged Fulham to make sure they keep hold of manager Roy Hodgson.

The Cottagers' rise from a side who dodged relegation on the final day of the 2007-08 season to one disappointed to only draw with Italian giants Roma has been presided over by Hodgson since he took over in December 2007.

The 60-year-old, though, is yet to sign a contract extension beyond the end of this season and has even been linked with the Liverpool job, should Rafael Benitez leave Anfield.

If the experienced Londoner does not sign a new deal at Craven Cottage he is sure to be in demand from a number of clubs at home and abroad.

And USA striker Dempsey claims he wants the former Inter Milan boss to stay put. 'If things are working, as they are, you don't want them to change but these are discussions for people higher up in the club,' said the 26-year-old.

'I enjoy playing for him and I've been lucky really that all the managers I've had have been good - from Steve Nicol and Paul Mariner at New England Revolution to Bob Bradley, the USA coach.

'I like the staff we have here - they do a good job of preparing us for each game. We have a good shape and are a hard team to break down.'

And Dempsey also heaped praise on strike partner Bobby Zamora, whose five goals this season have already eclipsed the four he scored in the whole of the last campaign.

The ex-Tottenham and West Ham forward has taken a lot of criticism for his lack of goals but Dempsey insists Zamora fulfils a role similar to that of Aston Villa and England targetman Emile Heskey.

'Bobby does the same kind of role,' added the Texan. 'He didn't get a lot of goals last season but he helped create a lot of chances and it's great to play with him.

'Guys like him who hold the ball up are underrated. We share the goals around - I've got four, so has Danny Murphy, Bobby has five, Andy Johnson has three. Everyone chips in.'

Dempsey also believes he can help the Cottagers repeat their success of finishing seventh, and in the Europa League places, last season.

Fulham lie 11th ahead of Saturday's trip to Premier League new-boys Birmingham and are also improving their away record, having drawn their last three on the road including a very creditable 2-2 draw at Manchester City.

Dempsey explained: 'Last year is a hard act to follow but to finish seventh was no fluke.

'We have a good squad who believe in the style of football we play. We've been chipping in with the goals lately, too, and are also hard to score against.

'I think Premier League form and Europa League form go hand in hand. It's good for the players to get the confidence of playing [teams like Roma] in Europe and I think we'll only be stronger for the experience.'

Source Matt Nash at Metro Sport
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