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September 30 2020 4.05am

Dowie defends Soares

April 12 2006

Tom Soares

Tom Soares

Iain Dowie has angrily hit back at questions querying his decision to regularly select Palace youngster Tom Soares, by Stuart Pink.

The Eagles boss passionately defended his selection policy after he was asked why he insisted on playing Soares when there were better goal scoring midfield options at the club.

The England U21 international has played the majority of the season out of position on the right-hand side of midfield, ousting the more natural widemen Marco Reich and Wayne Andrews.

But Dowie was quick to defend the youngster and made it clear he would not accept criticism of his younger players.

"People are criticising 19-year-old players here and it's embarrassing," said the furious Palace boss.

"For me, if you ask any senior players at this club - like Michael Hughes who has got 70 caps for Northern Ireland and he'll tell you Soares is a player. What I won't accept is my young players being criticised. I'd like to be criticised, I've got no problem with that. But not my young players.

"Tom Soares does not deserved to be criticised."

The Palace boss was also honest in ruling out a second place finish after the defeat at Leicester and revealed the club's new aim.

"We have beaten Watford and Leeds in recent weeks and I am lucky to have a great bunch of players who will be going all out to finish as high as possible in the next few weeks."

Live Croydon Guardian text commentary

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