There is life after Ashton – Thorne

Peter Thorne has insisted he's ready to fill the yawning void in the Norwich City attack left behind by the £7.25m departure of Dean Ashton to West Ham.

Peter Thorne today insisted he's ready to fill the yawning void in the Norwich City attack left behind by the £7.25m departure of Dean Ashton to West Ham.

The former Cardiff City striker has been plagued by niggling injuries since he left Ninian Park last summer and has made only six starts in Coca-Cola Championship matches this season.

But having got a taste for scoring again at the weekend against Watford, heading home a Darren Huckerby cross, the big front man is desperate to get some games under his belt.

“It was great to get a goal but I have to say losing in that way was a real killer blow,” said the 32-year-old. “But you have to dust yourself down and make sure you're ready to go next time. These things happen in football.”

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He added: “I'm not getting any younger and I just want to be playing. I've never really had so many injury problems in my career as this before, so I just want to be in the team.

“I wouldn't like to say how my fitness is as I've not played many matches. It's difficult with so few reserve games, some of which are like playing in youth games.

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“Saying that, the work I've done with the physios has been great and has been a step up from my days at Cardiff.”

Ashton's departure means Thorne now finds himself leading the line for the Canaries with fellow senior strike partner Leon McKenzie still a long way off making his comeback from an ankle injury.

But Thorne is confident that manager Nigel Worthington - who he believes deserves credit for his hand in the Ashton deal that netted the club a healthy profit - will be able to work his magic in the transfer market and spend the newly-acquired cash on bolstering the squad.

“I'm sure that the gaffer is going to strengthen the squad over the coming week and it should be a pretty interesting time,” said Thorne, who admits he's heard all sorts of transfer rumours, in particular the one linking former Cardiff team-mate Cameron Jerome with a move to Carrow Road.

“It's a shame to lose someone like Dean as he was a very good player. But he had said he wanted to move and he saw it as too good an opportunity to turn down.

“But it's a good bit of business. He'd only been at the club a short while and the club have made a lot of money and that's something the gaffer deserves a lot of credit for,” declared Thorne.

“I've heard all sorts of rumours, but I've put them to the back of my head, to be honest.

“I've not spoken to Cameron or anyone at Cardiff and I think they are away in Portugal anyway. But you never know - I could walk into the dressing room tomorrow and he'll be there.

“Either way, I think the gaffer will be trying to strengthen the squad.”

Thorne is adamant the transfer speculation surrounding Ashton has not had an effect on the rest of the squad and, as far as he's concerned, it's business as usual as City look ahead to next Tuesday's visit to Championship table-toppers Reading.

“Reading are a class team and they will be tough to beat, but all we can focus on is doing the best we can for Norwich City,” he said. “Everyone is still upbeat and, to be honest, I don't think that the lads have let all the speculation affect them. They have got on with doing their job.”

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