Palace light on strikers

20 March 2014 12:16

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis is facing up to a striker crisis for Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Newcastle after both Marouane Chamakh and Dwight Gayle were ruled out.

The Eagles are just three points above the relegation zone in 17th place, but have played two more matches than Sunderland, with whom they drew 0-0 last weekend.

Pulis must now take his depleted squad back up to the north east without either Morocco forward Chamakh, still troubled by a hamstring problem, and now also Gayle, whose ankle injury is still to be fully assessed.

Glenn Murray - himself only just fully match fit following long lay-off - and Cameron Jerome, on loan from Stoke, are now set to come into contention against the Magpies.

"Chamakh won't be fit for Saturday. It is a massive blow because he plays that position so, so well," Pulis said at a press conference.

"He is a good player, can score goals and he can drop into that number 10 position.

"It is a miss, but we have to get on with it."

Pulis revealed the club were still examining the extent of the injury to Gayle, who has scored four times since summer move from Peterborough.

"Gayley unfortunately got injured in training on Tuesday. It is his ankle," the Palace boss said.

"He is having a scan today, so we won't know what the extent of the injury is yet.

"We actually trained at Selhurst Park on Tuesday, because we thought it might be a bit too hard (at the training ground), but he did it at Selhurst."

Pulis, meanwhile, has moved to reject reports of a fall-out with co-chairman Steve Parish over plans for preparations ahead of the 2014/2015 campaign, which were said to include matches overseas.

The manager stressed with the south-east London club still uncertain of their top-flight status, nothing could yet be set in stone either way.

"Pre-season won't be discussed and can't be discussed at the moment," Pulis said.

"The Championship starts two weeks earlier than the Premier League, so how can we put anything in place until we know what division we are in? It's a two-week difference. The story is ridiculous."

Source: PA