Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Striker Heads Bruce's Hit List

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Striker Heads Bruce's Hit List

Article excerpt

Byline: LEO SPALL

Crystal Palace 0 West Brom 1

CRYSTAL PALACE manager Steve Bruce, whose team have scored of 35 goals in 15 League games, is today looking for a new striker.

It may sound like a strange thing to be doing with his front pairing of Dougie Freedman and Clinton Morrison among the top marksmen in Division One and in good form, but for anyone who saw the 1-0 defeat against West Brom last night it should make perfect sense.

Bruce and his highflying team came up against a hardworking, well-marshalled side who knew how to defend and they could not change their approach or personnel to break them down.

In the end, they threw on 16-year-old Wayne Routledge to try to avoid their first blank scoresheet at home this season and, however great his potential, it spoke volumes about the depth of the Palace squad.

Even Morrison, who enjoys the limelight that goes with being the club's top scorer on 13 goals, would not mind a bit of help in attack.

He said: "We do need an extra option up front because every time it is not going right then the manager can throw on something else with us and make it easier to get goals.

"We definitely need to add to the squad.

"It was hard work against West Brom. They set out their stall and were difficult to break down and we could not match them.

"It was disappointing and in those games we must come up different ideas and make something good come of it.

"We need the competition of another striker too, but I don't think other sides have worked us out and will always be able to stop us.

"We will just have to work hard now and try to get it right on Saturday."

That game is at Walsall and Morrison's sensible attitude and the talent in the Palace team should see them back on winning ways before a break for international games.

Bruce, who is still being linked with the vacant manager's job at Birmingham, says he is desperate for the fixture gap so his players' can regroup and recover from football's punishing games schedule and to allow him the chance to really get down to transfer business. …

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