Fulham pulled off one of the results of the Premier League season on Saturday, beating champions Manchester United 2-0 at Craven Cottage. The win kept Fulham in ninth place and gives the team a major boost heading toward the final stretch of a long season. While the mentality here in camp is shifting toward the game on Saturday, all the guys were well aware of Fulham's heroics on Saturday and congratulating Clint for a job well done, so we thought we'd ask Deuce a few quick questions about this past weekend.
MNT Blog: Certainly a weekend to remember for Fulham. You and your teammates must have been elated by such a big win?
Clint Dempsey: The most important thing is that the three points keep us in the top half of the table. It is a tight race, and we want to make sure we finish in the top ten and try to push on for a UEFA Cup spot. Of course it is great to beat a top-four team, but the main focus, as always, is to finish as high as we can. It always feels good to compete well against the top teams, and I think we gave a really good account of ourselves. A win like the one this past weekend is great for the fans who come out and support us, and I think it's great for the league too. In the Premier League everybody is competitive, and like on Saturday, any team can win on any day.
MNTB: With recent defeats against Manchester United, first 3-0 and then 4-0, hardly anybody expected such a drastic turnaround on Saturday...
CD: Recently things didn't go our way against them. At Old Trafford we tried a slightly different formation, playing a type of 4-5-1, and we weren't at our best. In the FA Cup quarterfinal we conceded early and found ourselves in a hole looking up for most of the game.
This time, we knew it was going to be a tough game but we wanted to stick to what was working for us. Defensive shape has been one of our strong points throughout the year and I think we took our chances well in the end. Obviously a major turning point was us taking the lead and them going down a man, but we also did well to make the advantage count. In the second half they were dominating us for the first 15 minutes and our 'keeper came up with some big saves. On the whole, everybody has to do their part [to win in a difficult game like that] and I think we stepped up as a team for the big occasion.
MNTB: This season is shaping up quite differently from the last campaign, when Fulham only achieved safety on the last day of the season...
CD: We've grown more confident from our success this season, and I think it all started with the fact that we're a tough to team to break down defensively. Those ties add up. You get points here and there, and sometimes those ties will turn into wins. Staying away from the bottom builds your confidence but we've still got a ways to go to achieve what we want to.
MNTB: With nearly two weeks now until the next Premier League fixture, how can Fulham maintain the momentum of such a big win?
CD: The guys who stay at the club will be well rested and I think the guys who come back from international duty carry the momentum of playing for whatever country they are from. After you represent your country, you always return to your club with a sense of pride. We'll be playing against Liverpool, but we have nothing to lose. We have to go out hard and work to get a result. People don't expect you to get those points, but anything can happen.
(picture from Fulhamfc.com)