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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Meulensteen backs Dempsey to shine

Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen believes it is only a matter of time until Clint Dempsey rediscovers the form he showed during his first stint at the club.

Mison: A solid January needed

Dempsey, 30, left Fulham at the beginning of last season to join Tottenham, but he returned to Craven Cottage earlier this month on loan from the Seattle Sounders.

The United States international failed to impress during Saturday's 4-1 defeat to Sunderland, but Meulensteen is sure he will soon be back to his best.

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

Meulensteen feels Dempsey, who scored 50 league goals in his first Fulham spell between 2007 and 2012, just needs to find the back of the net once again and the rest will soon follow.

“If he could have got his head on one of those crosses in the second half it would have been good for his confidence,” Meulensteen said. “He's just got to keep working, but that's his character and that's exactly what we know he will do.”

Next up for Fulham is Norwich in Tuesday's FA Cup third-round replay.

While Meulensteen is keen to progress in the competition, Premier League survival remains the club’s primary concern.

“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.”

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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