Having guided Palace off the foot of the table with their first Premiership win of the season, Iain Dowie now faces an anxious wait for nine players to return unscathed from international duty.

Four points from the last two games have lifted the Eagles above Norwich for the first time and renewed belief that Palace can avoid relegation.

Dowie said: "This win gives us a bit of a lift. We've set our standards in the last two games in what we want to achieve and what the lads are about. I'd like to get a chance to lick my wounds and get everyone together, but you can't, and there's a huge portion of the team away now on international duty."

Captain Tony Popovic, Gabor Kiraly, Sandor Torghelle, Ivan Kaviedes, Joonas Kolkka, Aki Riihilahti and new signing Vassilios Lakis have all been called up to their national squads for competitive fixtures this week. While Wayne Routledge and Gary Borrowdale are included in the England U20 to play the Netherlands in Huddersfield on Saturday.

But Dowie will use the chance to rest weary legs and boost the fitness of the remaining squad members, many of whom are coming back from injury.

He said: "We're pleased that we have got 10 days to rest now and recover our injuries."

Fitz Hall came off with a foot injury on Monday, but will now have 10 days rest, and a chance to spend time with his wife and new baby.

Dougie Freedman (groin), Mark Hudson (ankle), Danny Butterfield (hamstring) Mikele Leigertwood (knee) and are all fit again and will play for the reserves against Coventry and Southampton. While new signing Wayne Andrews and Neil Shipperley will continue to improve their fitness and hope to make the squad to face Bolton at the Reebok Stadium next Saturday.

The 2-0 win over Fulham saw his side waste a catalogue of chances and the 39-year-old boss insist his side must keep improving. He said: "We got back to what we were about against Villa. That was an all-round better performance, so let's not get carried away."

Whoever does make the squad for Palace's next Premiership trip, are likely to enjoy some Northern hospitality Dowie-style!

He added: "We've got my home town next Bolton and I'll have the lads around for tea on the Friday night."