Thursday, July 20, 2006


Deano: I'm flattered

Hammers striker Dean Ashton has made some nebulous comments about the interest shown by Newcastle on his diary at "There is a rumour flying around that I won't be here next season because Newcastle apparently want me. The first I heard of it was when one of my mates texted me saying 'have you seen the story in the paper', so it's hard to comment on something I know nothing about. I'm just looking it as pure speculation. Newcastle are a massive club, it's flattering, but I haven't given it any thought. There's no point me shouting about it at all. All I'm doing is concentrating on pre-season and getting myself fit. That is the main thing for me. I'm happy at West Ham, I've enjoyed it here for the last six months and I can't wait for the season to begin." Keeping his options open, it appears.

Meanwhile, Deano seems to have spent his holiday recovering from the previous season. "I had quite a bit of time off over the summer because I felt really tired at the end of last season. It'd been a long 18 months for me and I needed the rest. I went to Cyprus on holiday, relaxed, and have come back feeling really refreshed."

He's finding West Ham's regime to be pretty strenuous, but controlled as well. "I did a bit of work before I came back for pre-season training to make sure I was in OK shape, but I'm still not enjoying it at all. I hate the running! It's my first pre-season at West Ham, and the main difference from what I've experienced at other clubs is that it's much more technical and there is a lot more biomechanics involved. It's not a case of 'there's a hill, run up it'. Here, we are all linked up to monitors all the time, and our oxygen intake and heart rates are constantly being measured. I'm happy at West Ham. I've enjoyed it here for the last six months."

He added, "I'm really looking forward to next season. It'll be the first time I've begun a season in the Premiership and that's something I'm really excited about. And the main thing for me is to be consistent at this level next season. That's what I want. Playing in Europe is just a bonus. Hopefully the team can push on from last season's achievement and possibly earn a place in Europe through our league position. We've certainly got the squad for it. We've not lost anyone, we've added to it in fact, and things are really looking up."

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