sport

Gayle sees patience rewarded

Dwight Gayle is pleased to have seen his patience rewarded at Crystal Palace and will welcome added competition for places.

The 23-year-old striker became Palace's record signing last summer as he was snapped up from Peterborough United.

He, like the club, was to endure a difficult start to life in the Premier League, though, and fell out of favour once Tony Pulis inherited the managerial reins.

Gayle was, however, able to force his way back into the fold towards the end of the season and ended the campaign with eight goals to his name.

He is now looking to kick-on and says the prospect of new recruits and a fully fit Glenn Murray challenging him for a starting berth next season holds no fear.

Gayle told the Croydon Advertiser: "I've had to be patient. I wasn't starting but Tony has given me my chance at the end of the season, so I'm just happy with that.

"We're going to have to add to the squad in the summer and hopefully we can push on and finish in the top half of the table.

"I am fully excited and I can't wait for next season to start now. The close season now is going to be very important for me and I can work on a few things and make myself a better player.

"Hopefully next season I can repay the faith Palace have shown in me and get a few more goals.

"I am looking to work myself in the gym and get a bit stronger. I'll have to improve myself tactically too.

"I suppose my hold-up play needs to be better and I need to help out the team bringing others into play.

"I think myself and Glenn Murray can work. We do work well, we're good mates off the pitch as well, which is a good thing. I think our attributes work well together."