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RAPIDHAMMER: Dean Ashton On Standby For England Call

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Dean Ashton On Standby For England Call

The Daily Mirror reports that Dean Ashton is on standby for an England call.
Emile Heskey (Wigan Athletic) had partnered successfully with Michael Owen in England's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia at Wembley, but was forced off injured in Wigans 1-1 draw against Fulham last Saturday, his first appearance for Wigan since his impressive return to the England fold after a three-year exile.
According to the BBC it is unlikely that Heskey will be fit for England's games against Estonia and Russia in mid-October. The Wigan striker had a pin inserted in the metatarsal bone he broke when he jumped up in the air and came down on his ankle.
According to the Daily Mirror West Ham's Dean Ashton was sent a suit by the FA yesterday as he is on standby for an England call. Dean looks tailor-made as a replacement for injury victim Emile Heskey and the biggest clue yet was the surprise delivery at the club's training ground.
Ashton has just come back from his own injury nightmare, starting his first Premier League game last weekend, but he fits the bill for Steve McClaren. The £7 million striker measures up in McClaren's mind and seems certain to be picked for the Estonia and Russia games as long as he stays fit, says The Mirror.
Ironically, Ashton was injured on England duty when McClaren first took sole charge and Ashton broke his ankle in training. After his first Premiership start and his first league goal in 18 months against Middlesbrough Dean Ashton revealed that "there still is a long way to go". He is looking to get back to top-form as quickly as possible but "there are still improvements I can make", Ashton told the website of the Premier League. "I feel fit, while you have to play games to get sharpness. But the ankle is not something that will go away. I've got to work for six months to a year to eradicate it."
Being asked which targets he had set himself the West Ham-striker said: "I expect to score in every game. That's the aim."
Alan Curbishley, meanwhile, admitted it would have been easy to have put Ashton back into his team before he was ready, "but we knew the worst thing we could have done was to have rushed it. Now he has to keep going."
The big striker himself also revealed that watching video tapes of him scoring before he was injured, kept him going through the long months of recuperation. "I've sat there during those long months out and and watched videos of me scoring," Ashton said. "Sometimes it's the only way to keep yourself going. I've watched the 2006 FA Cup Final against Liverpool where I managed to score and however painful it was to lose, I was really proud of the team and myself in that game. I'll probably keep on watching it."

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