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West Ham manager pleads patience from Ashton

At the start of the season, many were predicting this would be Dean Ashton’s breakthrough campaign, although injury has halted the West Ham striker’s progress so far. The Press Association report that his manager Alan Curbishley wants him to forget about the possibility of playing for England right now and instead try to rediscover some form for the Hammers.

“Deano just has to keep going. We have been easing him in, and it is difficult getting fit in the first team, but there has been no other way,” said Curbishley.

“He had the injury and it took a year to recover from it. He had another set-back once he got himself going and I think you can see that he has a bit to do.”

He said: “The games are watched every week and Matthew Upson got himself in there, so it is performances I think, nothing else.

“First things first, Deano has got to get himself absolutely right and he will know when he is absolutely right.”

However, many Hammers fans would argue that reserve matches would be a better bet for the former Crewe and Norwich striker right now. His recent performances have been poor and Curbishley’s insistence of partnering him with Carlton Cole is not yielding the necessary results.

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