Jol willing to consider Dempsey future
8:42am Sunday 19th August 2012 in © Press Association 2014
Martin Jol criticised the Fulham fans who mocked the absent Clint Dempsey during Saturday's 5-0 hammering of Norwich.
The Cottagers coped admirably without him as they ruined Chris Hughton's first league game in charge of Norwich by recording a 5-0 thrashing courtesy of goals from Damien Duff, Steve Sidwell, Alex Kacaniklic and double from debutant Mladen Petric.
The home fans greeted Fulham's fifth strike - a fierce penalty from Sidwell - by chanting 'Are you watching Clint Dempsey?'. But Jol feels the 29-year-old deserves more respect from the fans despite his recent rebellion. "I don't want to hear the fans were chanting against him because he was a terrific player for us," Jol told a press conference.
"He was the most productive midfield player in the whole league last season."
Jol launched a furious attack on Liverpool on Friday for failing to follow up their initial interest in Dempsey with a firm bid for the player.
The Dutchman said on Friday that it was "impossible" for Dempsey to remain at Craven Cottage, but he now seems open to the possibility of the midfielder staying. "Hopefully he will play for us again," the Fulham boss added. "There is one season to go (on his contract) and no one has come in for him.
"To say he refused to play is probably a bit harsh but he wanted to move and if you want to move, you don't want to take risks so you don't want to play in case you get an injury. So for me that was a very awkward situation and it was for him as well.
"There is nothing on the table from Liverpool. Maybe Clint knows more than us but we feel he should stay if there is no other bid."
Hughton, who worked under Jol as a coach at Tottenham, admitted that his first top-flight game in 20 months could not have gone worse. "It was an awful day for us," Hughton said. "That's not how you want your first game of the season to go."
Hughton is confident that his men will bounce back from the thrashing, however. "The players are hurting," the former Birmingham 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."