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Asante's urged to seize Blues chance.

Byline: COLIN TATTUM @colintattum

AKWASI Asante has been told he has a 'fantastic opportunity' before him.

And Lee Clark has also administered a friendly admonishment to his striker.

Asante has been recalled from loan to Shrewsbury Town with the prospect of Blues' first-team involvement very much on the agenda.

But a tightness in his hamstring means he won't be able to figure immediately.

Clark said: "I have spoken about the situation of the club, the financial side of it, the numbers in terms of the strikers - Nikola Zigic's injury - and this is a fantastic opportunity for him to say to me 'I'm the one who can stake the claim now'.

"I brought him back to be involved as we only have two recognised strikers and he has something a little different with his explosive pace.

"We have just got to make sure he is A1, 100 per cent. We sent him out on loan to get games.

"He picked up a little injury and got fit but he came off after about 70 minutes (last Saturday) against Swindon Town with a bit of a tight hamstring, he's still got that tightness.

"Because he was out for four months last season with a hamstring injury, we're not taking any risks.

''We have got to be ultra-cautious because we can't have a scenario like last season when he missed so long because of it.

"The medical team have identi-fied the reasons why he is suffering these situations, so we are putting actions into place to prevent this in the future."

Clark expanded: "What he did over the summer - and he deserves a pat on the back and a kick up the bum at the same time - was go away and work at a gym, he did the strengthening needed.

"But he also did some powerlifting for the top half of his body.

"Now, coupled with his explosive nature, he's become a little bit too muscular at the top end and it's altered his running style and it has put too much pressure on his glutes and hamstrings.

"So he is going to be even more susceptible to getting these strains, this tightness that makes him apprehensive.

"He has had a scan. The hamstring's not pulled, he's obviously got this tightness he's uncomfortable with.

''We just need to clear that up and educate him on what is good and what isn't."

"Saying that he needs a little tap on the backside, the good does outweigh the bad because if he's prepared to do this kind of thing in his own time it means we've got half a chance with the lad."

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Akwasi Asante has been recalled from loan.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 24, 2013
Words:447
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