Football: Dowie turns on Jordan as Palace fail at the sales

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IAIN DOWIE has questioned the ambition of the Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan and fears his squad is not strong enough to stay in the Premiership.

The Palace manager voiced his frustration after seeing their relegation rivals Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City strengthen their squads during the January transfer window, while his own efforts to sign players proved fruitless.

Dowie missed out on Dean Ashton, Bobby Zamora, Nigel Reo-Coker and Marlon Harewood, with Jordan apparently reluctant to deal with certain agents and pay transfer fees in full and up front. Palace are four points above the relegation zone and secured a point at West Bromwich on Tuesday night with a last-gasp equaliser, but Dowie fears Jordan's lack of investment could cost the club their top-flight status.

"We haven't shown enough ambition," Dowie said. "That's the business we're in. Do I feel that we should have got some more bodies in? Yes, I do. I said before the window opened that getting a couple of players might prove the difference between us staying up and being relegated, and I stand by that.

"We're in the real world and we have to deal with agents - if you speak to every other manager, they will say the same. Every Premier League club, with the exception of one or two, have brought bodies in and we haven't. It's frustrating."

Dowie signed 12 players after winning promotion to the Premiership last season, but saw deals to bring midfielders Tim Cahill and Aliou Cisse to Selhurst Park fall through at the last minute after Jordan refused to pay fees to the players' respective agents, SFX and Willie McKay.

"We had the same situation with Cahill and Cisse, so I'm not surprised it's happened again," Dowie said. "We have to get on with it but, given where we have come from, we need some support. We have a playing squad who are totally committed and a staff who are totally committed - I can control that. But I can't control the other things.

"At Manchester City a few weeks ago, we had two youngsters, a couple of lads from Chesham and a boy from Luton - a lot of managers wouldn't be prepared to take that group on. But the boys we have here have shown that they want to play for Crystal Palace, and that is enough for me."

Dowie also criticised the Palace hierarchy for failing to invest in training facilities at the south London club.

"Every Premier League club - bar one or two - have an excellent day- to-day environment," he said. "The training grounds and conditions for players are very good. Our training ground has a very difficult playing surface, so we have a lot to put up with here. But the boys have been getting on with things manfully and the spirit and desire have been terrific. Whatever happens, this group of players will fight tooth and nail to stay where they are."

Dowie also confirmed he would ask the referee Dermot Gallagher to reconsider the red card he gave to the Uruguayan defender Gonzalo Sorondo at West Bromwich for a professional foul on Geoff Horsfield.