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Manchester City
By ESPN Staff

Hammers' Ashton targets Tottenham return

Striker Dean Ashton wants to return to action for West Ham against Tottenham on Sunday.

Ashton was sidelined with a medial ligament injury in early October and that ruled him out of England's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Estonia and Russia.

The striker has since made good progress and has now set his sights on playing some part in their Barclays Premier League clash with Spurs.

Ashton said: 'Everything has gone really well. I have trained for a week and a half and if I get through the rest of the week well, I will be available for selection on Sunday.'

Ashton was absent through injury last season when West Ham lost 4-3 to Tottenham in dramatic fashion.

'It was hard to take last season because I thought we played so well and you saw the scenes at the end of the game - the players were devastated. This year we really want to win and I want to play a part in it as well,' he said.

Ashton and midfielder Scott Parker both scored in a training ground practice match against Southampton reserves on Wednesday.

Parker is also returning from injury and boss Alan Curbishley is relieved some of his stars are on the brink of a comeback.

Curbishley said: 'We are really pleased. It looks like one or two of them are coming back.

'Scott played the whole 90 minutes and is looking strong again. By this weekend one of them might be involved or even both of them.'

Meanwhile, Colchester United have made an offer for Hogan Ephraim. The West Ham United winger made 21 appearances while on loan at Colchester last term and is out of contract at the end of the season.

He has already been out on loan at Queens Park Rangers this season, but could be set for a January return to Layer Road.

Colchester boss Geraint Williams admitted United had made a bid for the player but said there was competition for the youngster.

Williams said: 'There has been a bid, that is true. Hogan is a player we have had here before and if West Ham are interested in selling then we are interested in buying.

'We have spoken to him, but there are also another couple of clubs interested, so it is down to Hogan where his future lies.

'If a player will improve the club - and Hogan will do that - then it will take a lot of money, but we are prepared to do that. We'll have to wait and see how it develops.'