Jol, however, preferred to praise Fulham’s youngsters – the club’s future.
When asked about Dempsey’s contract situation, Jol said: “Today you saw [debutant] Alex Kacaniklic as well, so there are more options on the left. Kerim Frei did well this year, he is only 18 years of age and played against Manchester United. I thought it was time to give Alex his debut and I think he worked hard and did well.”
Of Dempsey, he added: “Clint is very good at arriving late, near the end of things. In the second half of course we had to use him in a different way, but if you look at my players he’s probably the one who could do a job there.”
It took less than two minutes for the 29-year-old to make his mark. When John Ruddy failed to hold Bryan Ruiz’s curling effort, Dempsey scored with a touch of his thigh and more than a touch of good fortune. Then, in the 13th minute, he supplied a show-stopping pass for Duff to race onto and double the advantage.
But it was not all plain sailing for the hosts, who had to defend doggedly to preserve their lead after Aaron Wilbraham pulled one back for Norwich 13 minutes from time.
Visiting manager Paul Lambert said: “You can’t give teams a two-goal head start. It is a mountain to climb from there, but the response was absolutely terrific.
“The great thing for me is that we never capitulated, which can happen when you lose two goals as early as that and are a young team.”