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Dembélé enjoying time at Fulham

last updated Thursday 30th October 2014, 1:25 PM

Fulham striker Moussa Dembele
Fulham striker
Moussa Dembele
Moussa Dembele
It was a game of contrasting emotions for Moussa Dembélé as the 18-year-old walked off the Craven Cottage pitch having not only felt the euphoria of opening his Fulham account against Derby County but also the joy of doubling his tally before half-time.

Scoring on the Cottage's hallowed turf is not a new thing for Dembélé. The Frenchman has netted a number of goals in big games for the Under-18s and Under-21s played at SW6, but he celebrated his first senior goals with a new level of delight.

That ecstasy soon turned to agony when the Rams struck with the last kick of the first half and then scored four more times within 15 minutes of the restart to knock the Whites out of the Capital One Cup.

Getting off the mark for the First Team was clearly a huge landmark for Dembélé, who showed predatory instincts to capitalise on a pair of Derby defensive errors, but he is well aware of the bigger picture, and the importance of learning the harsh lessons from the 5-2 Fourth Round loss.

"Both of my goals came from a mistake from the opponent," said Dembélé.

"The first one, the Derby player wanted to pass back to the keeper and I intercepted and scored. And the second one, [Bryan] Ruiz took the ball and I finished. I am very happy with that.

"However I think that we should have and could have scored more than two and I am gutted with the result.

"I think we should have won this game. We just had to be more focused and not lose our concentration but that's what happens sometimes.

"We scored two, then they got the penalty at the end of the first half and just after that we lost the game in the first 15 minutes. We weren't concentrating and we let it go.

"But like I say, we need to learn from that. You have to keep going and now we have to stand up."

Caretaker Manager Kit Symons utilised his squad in an attempt to maintain freshness across the Whites ranks and, although Dembélé was one of eight new faces named in the starting line-up on Tuesday night, he insists this defeat will not knock the Team's confidence as Fulham seek to maintain their strong recent Sky Bet Championship form.

"There is a great confidence in the team at the moment because we keep winning games and keep doing well," Dembélé continued.

"We are strong together as a Team, sticking together for this Club and that's why we are getting results.

"We have to take this match onboard and learn from our mistakes and try to go win the next one."

Having made substitute appearances in two of the Whites' last three league matches, Dembélé is now turning his attentions to a trip to Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

As he prepares to make an impact in an important Championship clash, it outlines how far Dembélé has come in a short space of time, something he reflected on after lining up alongside three of his teammates from last season's FA Youth Cup Final on Tuesday night.

"It's crazy because with some of the guys I was playing with out there, Emerson [Hyndman], George [Williams], and Pat [Roberts], last year we were playing in the Under-18s all together and now we are playing in the First Team against a really good team, Derby, who are sitting top of the league.

"We're so happy. We are learning every day in training and in games and hopefully everything will go well in the future."

Getting more First Team minutes under his belt isn't the ultimate aim for Dembélé. His mind is also set on another target after that double strike at Craven Cottage: he has a taste for goals.

"I am a striker and it's my job to score goals," he said. "But there is tough competition in this team, and Kit is the manager and he makes the choice. I respect that and I will continue to work hard for it."

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