Dowie ? Watson not for sale

Last updated : 07 April 2006 By Nik Taylor

Palace boss Iain Dowie has issued a hands-off warning over young midfielder Ben Watson.

The 20-year-old has had a sparkling season in the Championship, leading to reports of interest from Premiership clubs such as Middlesbrough and West Ham.

However, Dowie gave such rumours short shrift, and denied the player was unhappy over not holding down a regular starting spot.

"We are not interested in selling someone who has come through our youth system," said the boss.

"We have had a hand in his development. Ben wants to be the best he can - but he is not one who will spit out his dummy or throw a tantrum.

"Ben has enough talent to be a top-class footballer. He has won over the fans this season, which he was always going to do."