Ashton advice key in Green's Hammers move

August 17, 2006

West Ham striker Dean Ashton helped to convince his old Norwich team-mate Robert Green that his future lies at Upton Park.

Green completed his £2million move yesterday after signing a four-year deal with the Hammers.

The England goalkeeper had hoped he would be reunited with Ashton in rather more pleasant surroundings than a hospital.

But that is where they met on Tuesday after Ashton suffered a broken ankle during an England training session.

'I spoke to Dean on Monday morning when the opportunity of a move to West Ham came up and he had nothing but glowing praise for the club,' said Green.

'I congratulated him on his England call-up and wished him well. But since then it has been a bit of a disaster for him.

'I saw him again on Tuesday in the hospital. I was having my medical and he was having surgery on the injury.

'It's a real disappointment for him and a massive blow. But he's got to be philosophical about it. He's a great lad and I'm sure he will bounce back.'

Green is back in full training after suffering a ruptured groin while playing for England B against Belarus in May.

The freak injury cost Green a place in the World Cup squad - but he is now less than a month away from a return to action.

And Green is convinced a move to Upton Park will help him break back into the England squad.

'Once I was given the chance to talk to West Ham there was no doubt in my mind about what I wanted to do,' said Green.

'I spoke to Alan Pardew and his enthusiasm shone through immediately. He has very ambitious plans for the club and I am looking forward to being a part of that.

'The manager was keen to get me in and he had a lot of enthusiasm and from that point it was pretty much a done deal.

'It is a fantastic club. It is an exciting time, the first time in a long while they have are playing in Europe.

'They have young English players and a young English manager, which is a bonus. It is great to be part of.

'It will be a big challenge to get past Roy Carroll and Jimmy Walker. Overall my aim is to get back in the England squad but first things first I will try to get in the West Ham side.'

Green becomes West Ham's seventh signing of the summer and Pardew is chasing an eighth, with a winger now his priority.