Worthington unconcerned about playing Ashton

Last updated : 07 January 2006 By Rick Lamb
Talismanic striker Dean Ashton will start this afternoon's FA Cup Third round clash against West Ham United, despite continued speculation about a move to the Premiership.

Boss Nigel Worthington was asked about the possibility of leaving out the England under-21 international to prevent him from losing value by being cup-tied, as Crewe Alexandra did a year ago before flogging him to Norwich.

"Ashton will be playing," said Worthington. "If he was cup-tied, maybe that would affect his value in the buyer's book, but I don't really see it that way.

"It's not something that is a consideration as far as Norwich City are concerned," he added. The Ulsterman went on to support reports this week that, while several clubs are interested in Ashton, none has come close to tempting the club to part with a player who signed a new contract at the start of the season.

"He is not really for sale anyway unless somebody comes in with an offer that matches our valuation of the player."

City are also expected to field goalkeeper Robert Green, despite speculation linking him with a move to Charlton Athletic. Were either player to be absent from the side, it would be the strongest indication yet that the club are ready to do business on two of the players most likely to propel them back to the Premiership.