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Football: Worthington rubbishes rumours.

Byline: BATTLING: Norwich's Peter Thorne and West Ham's James Colliins

NORWCH 1

WEST HAM 2

NORWICH manager Nigel Worthington revealed a groin strain had kept Dean Ashton out of the FA Cup defeat by West Ham at Carrow Road and insisted only "a crazy offer" would see the striker leave the club during the transfer window.

"He has got a groin strain -and for those who think I am telling porky-pies, I have got a scan which proves he has damaged his groin," said the manager following his side's 2-1 loss.

Speculation had grown over Ashton's future after he was missing from the team sheet.

"Dean is on a long-term contract, and unless there is a crazy offer which comes in, he is staying at this football club," said Worthrington.

An early goal from Hayden Mullins set West Ham on their way after just five minutes. Bobby Zamora then put the Barclays Premiership side well in command by the hour mark.

Paul McVeigh pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, it was just not Norwich's day -one which was made worse when goalkeeper Robert Green had to be stretchered off with his neck in a brace during the closing minutes after an accidental clash with Marlon Harewood.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 9, 2006
Words:208
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