Johnson defends Dempsey
Andrew Johnson is confident Clint Dempsey can bounce back from his late penalty miss against Chelsea.
Last Updated: 15/02/11 2:50pm
Andrew Johnson is confident Clint Dempsey can bounce back from his late penalty miss against Chelsea on Monday night.
Fulham had the chance to claim all three points against the fading Premier League champions when they were awarded a spot-kick deep into injury-time at Craven Cottage.
Dempsey stepped up to take responsibility after being brought down by David Luiz but saw his strike saved by Petr Cech before the American fired his acrobatic follow-up attempt high over the bar.
Johnson, who left the fray after 74 minutes, admitted there was disappointment in the Cottagers camp after the 0-0 draw, but refused to lay any blame at top scorer Dempsey's door.
"Of course it's disappointing [not to have won], but the person who took the penalty for us has been fantastic for us this season, so it's just unlucky for him - it happens," Johnson told the club's official website.
"Clint has 10 goals for us already this season and it was him that won the penalty so it made sense that he was the one to take it.
"He's scored them before now and he's been top class for us this season so he's big enough to pick himself up from this.
"Sure, we're disappointed, but they [Chelsea] are a top team and they've spent a lot of money so if you'd asked us before the game we would have been happy with a point."
Johnson was happy to see Mark Hughes' men extend their recent unbeaten home run to six games as they prepare to tackle Bolton or Wigan in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
And he reserved special praise for defensive duo Aaron Hughes and Brede Hangeland who kept Chelsea's £50million striker Fernando Torres quiet on a frustrating evening for the visitors.
"The boys have been fantastic. It's a great run that we're on at the moment and it was great to keep the unbeaten record going," added Johnson.
"Of course, it would have been nice to have taken all three points, but it was a derby against a top team, and a draw was probably a fair result in the end.
"Chelsea have some top class attacking talent and they kept them out for the whole game, so special credit to Brede and Hughesy - they've been fantastic all season, and tonight was just typical of how good they have been.
"Now we just need to recuperate and concentrate on getting ourselves through to the next round of the cup on Sunday."