Dowie: No Routledge rift
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Iain Dowie has remained diplomatic about the future of Wayne Routledge.Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie has reacted diplomatically to the news that young starlet Wayne Routledge will not be signing a new contract with the Premiership side and stressed he will continue to select the unsettled winger.
Despite being offered a lucrative deal, believed to be treble his current wages, Routledge is looking to develop his career away from the side currently 17th in the Premier League.
Shying away from the overt anger shown by Palace Chairman Simon Jordan on Tuesday, Dowie was pragmatic in assessing the difficult situation.
The England Under-21 international can leave on a Bosman in the summer, although the Premiership strugglers will hold out for appropriate compensation given the player's age.
"He's made the decision, he's his own man and I'm not going to fall out with him over that decision," Dowie told Sky Sports News.
"He's entitled to exercise his contract in the summer when it runs out. We'll have a compensation clause due to the work we've put in."
Routledge has been one of the London side's star players this season, adapting very successfully to the rigours of top flight football and becoming an Eagles hero in the process.
However the young star's advisor Paul Stretford indicated to the club on Tuesday that Routledge is now determined to leave the club, irrespective of any increase in wages Palace could offer.
The 20-year old has been the subject of interest from both Liverpool and Tottenham and seems destined to leave Palace for a bigger club, although Dowie is remaining resolute that there is still a chance the talented winger will commit his future to the club.
When asked if Routledge would refuse any offer, no matter how big, from Palace, Dowie responded by saying: "That's what he's intimated to me, I don't know about amounts involved, that's an issue for Wayne. He said he just feels he wants to go and try somewhere else."
"If we continue to push on and maybe get ourselves more established in The Premiership maybe Wayne will change his mind. We hope that will happen."
In the meantime, Routledge will remain for the fight against relegation, and the Palace boss will not consider dropping the player who has supplied six assists and one goal already this season.
"Why would I leave him out? As long as Wayne Routledge is here I'll utilise him for what he is, an excellent player, I won't see [past] any more than that.
"It would be madness to cut off your nose to spite your face. I'm not blessed with the situation where we can leave players with the quality of Wayne Routledge out.
"I hope he's committed, I look in his eyes and he's showed full commitment every time he's played, I expect that to continue."