Dowie expects starlet to sign
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Iain Dowie has revealed that Wayne Routledge is poised to sign a new contract.Crystal Palace boss Iain Dowie has revealed that Wayne Routledge is poised to end weeks of speculation by signing a new contract.
The starlet - who turns 20 on Friday - has settled quickly to life in the top-flight and has caught the eye with a series of impressive displays this term.
His form has alerted Palace's Premiership rivals with Tottenham and Liverpool both monitoring his progress.
Indeed, Spurs had a bid for the England Under-21 international rejected last summer, but Dowie is now hoping to head off their interest by tying the diminutive winger to a new deal that will treble his current wages.
"We expect to seal it this week and don't expect any problems," Dowie stated.
"Wayne is very important to us so we have made the opportunity to keep him."
Meanwhile, the Palace chief has also leapt to the defence of striker Andrew Johnson after he was caught by photographers stumbling into a taxi after a night out earlier in the week.
Dowie insists he gave the striker permission to go out and relax, and claims mischief-makers have tried to make a story where there wasn't one.
"His character is irreproachable," Dowie added.
"So for me it is a disappointment that someone seeks to taint his image with something as misguided as that, because that doesn't tell the story.
"I have given him a break, he has worked his socks off.
"What it won't say is that he was with his wife and brother having a meal, he trips over in a cab and they think it is a funny photo.
"It is disrespectful to a quality pro.
"Is he entitled to go dance with his wife at a do? Yes he is. Does he need some help with his dance moves? Obviously he does."