West Ham boss Curbishley grateful to have Ashton

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley was full of praise for two-goal Dean Ashton after their victory over Wigan Athletic.

Ashton went off in the 73rd minute after appearing to strain a hamstring taking a free-kick.

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Curbishley said: "Obviously Dean's got to be picked for England yet - but if he is and he's pain-free in the morning he will be available to play.

"We've just got to hope it's only cramp. With Craig Bellamy and Kieron Dyer still out it's the last thing we need from our point of view - to see Deano out as well."

England manager Fabio Capello was at Upton Park to see Ashton crash home a superb opening goal in just four minutes and an opportunist tap-in from a Julien Faubert corner six minutes later.

The Italian gave Ashton his first England cap against Trinidad and Tobago at the end of last season after the former Crewe and Norwich striker's comeback from breaking an ankle a year earlier, while training with Steve McClaren's England squad.

Curbishley continued: "He has done ever so well and is in a real run of goals, scoring six in five pre-season friendlies after his late burst last season.

"He's leaner, too. He's worked hard and has been on a different diet. It would be a real shame if he's got another injury now but I think he'll be all right."

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