West Ham's Ashton: I'm 12 months away from best

Dean Ashton admits he might be 12 months away before he is producing his best form for West Ham United.

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The former Crewe and Norwich striker scored his first Premiership goal for more than 18 months when he netted the third in West Ham's 3-0 win over Middlesbrough and said today: "Even though it was only from three yards out, that goal meant a lot.

"I just need to play games to improve the sharpness but there is more I can do in terms of the ankle.

"It's not something which is just going to go away, I need to work for anything up to a year before I see that the ankle is back to where it was."

And with Emile Heskey breaking a metatarsal for Wigan, Ashton added: "Hats off to Emile. I thought he was fantastic for England but in time, I want to be fighting for that place."

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