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Gradi 'Crewe Miss Ashton'

Gradi 'Crewe Miss Ashton'

Dario Gradi has admitted that Crewe have missed Dean Ashton and have been unable to replace him.

The 22 year old striker, who moved to Norwich in a £3 million transfer, returns to Crewe today.

Gradi said: 'The boys know him and that's not the same as stopping him scoring. We've missed his goals without a doubt. He was a match-winner and we haven't got a match-winner at the moment unless Jonah is on form and he's had a patchy season so far. It's that one guy that goes on the pitch who you think can win the game for you. Dean's one of those guys that it's always possible he'll score if he's not playing well but we'll have to keep him out.'

And Crewe assistant manager Neil Baker agrees and also tips Ashton for a swift return to the Premiership - albeit not necessarily with Norwich who are languishing in 18th in the Championship.

Baker said: 'He decided to stay (at Norwich following their relegation), which we thought he would, because he's a very loyal lad and Norwich were one of the few clubs that wanted to give him the chance to play in the Premiership. He wanted to repay that and get them back up. He's an ambitious lad and if that doesn't happen, he'll want to play at as high a level as possible. I'm sure, come the end of the season, if Norwich haven't gone up, there will be more clubs and better clubs after him than when he moved on before.'

Ashton has been linked to Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton.

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Writer:Site Staff
Date:Saturday December 10 2005
Time: 4:25PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Wigan 45 24 15 6 87 40
2 Burton 45 25 9 11 84 20
3 Millwall 45 23 9 13 78 23
4 Walsall 44 22 12 10 78 15
5 Bradford 45 22 11 12 77 13
6 Barnsley 45 21 8 16 71 13
7 Scunthorpe 45 20 11 14 71 11
8 Gillingham 45 19 12 14 69 16
9 Coventry 45 18 12 15 66 16
10 Sheff Utd 45 18 12 15 66 7
11 Rochdale 45 18 12 15 66 6
12 Port Vale 45 18 11 16 65 3
13 Peterborough 45 18 6 21 60 5
14 Southend 45 16 11 18 59 -5
15 Bury 45 15 12 18 57 -18
16 Swindon 45 15 11 19 56 -10
17 Oldham 45 12 18 15 54 -12
18 Chesterfield 45 15 8 22 53 -10
19 Shrewsbury 45 13 11 21 50 -18
20 Fleetwood 44 11 15 18 48 -4
21 Blackpool 45 12 10 23 46 -19
22 Doncaster 45 11 12 22 45 -16
R Colchester 45 9 13 23 40 -41
R Crewe 45 7 13 25 34 -35
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