Mark Hughes was eager to pay tribute to Clint Dempsey after the American striker rescued a point for Fulham on Saturday.

Dempsey headed the equaliser as the Cottagers drew 1-1 at home to Birmingham City, a result which keeps them firmly at the wrong end of the table.

And, with a raft of forwards on the injury list, Hughes admitted the 27-year-old’s contribution is vital.

He said: “Clint has had to carry a lot of the goal burden on his shoulders recently but he does not complain.

“He gets on with his job and gives everything he has got.

“He is always a threat in the air and he has that desire to get into the box and on the end of things.

“He is a great asset and very important to us.”

Fulham travel to Arsenal this weekend looking to improve their form, that has seen them gain just two wins from their 15 Premier League games this campaign.

But the Cottagers boss feels there is no need to panic just yet.

Hughes added: “We need to get more points on the board quickly, no doubt about it.

“But we have had a lot of senior players injured this season and have suffered because of it.

“There is still tremendous character in the squad though, and the players that have come in have shown they deserve to be there.

“Now we need to go to Arsenal, be compact and organised and see if we can get something.”

Fulham’s next three matches: Dec 4 Arsenal (a), 11 Sunderland (h), 18 Liverpool (a)