Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dowie Urges Sven to Bring Back Andy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dowie Urges Sven to Bring Back Andy

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON JOHNSON

STOKE CITY 1 CRYSTAL PALACE 3

CRYSTAL PALACE could not have timed their return to form any better with a convincing win over Stoke as they prepared to announce the new sponsorship deal which the club hope will help fund a better challenge in the Premiership should they get their this season.

Palace are expected to announce tomorrow that shipping firm GAC Logistics will replace Churchill Insurance, who have been the club's sponsor for the last three seasons, and benefit from an increase in revenue.

The deal with Churchill is understood to have been the lowest by some distance when the club were in the Premiership last season, and the relationship with GAC Logistics is already a close one as the company's logo is on the strip and on advertising hoardings around the ground.

But for manager Iain Dowie the three points against Stoke were far more important to the club in the short term as it keeps their hopes of automatic promotion alive.

The convincing victory also saw a return to his most lethal form of striker Andy Johnson, whose timing unlike the win ahead of the sponsorship deal, may have come too late for his World Cup hopes with England.

Johnson was left out of the squad that played Uruguay two weeks ago in what was the last friendly before Sven-Goran Eriksson names the 23 players going to Germany in May, but he terrorised Stoke with his pace and scored the type of goal that won him his first England cap last year.

But with Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe and Darren Bent all ahead of him in the pecking order, he may be better off planning his summer holiday destination, although he and Dowie are both refusing to give up.

Johnson said: "The World Cup is a motivation for me and it's always good when people say nice things about you and link you with England.

All I can do is keep scoring goals for Palace and keep my fingers crossed."

Dowie added: "Maybe it's not a good sign he was left out of the last squad, but only Sven can answer why he did that. …

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