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Zambia U20s showing fruits of new philosophy

Zambia
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By ESPN Staff

West Brom chief reveals bidding frenzy

West Brom sporting director Dan Ashworth has come out fighting in the wake of recent heavy criticism over the club's failure to strengthen their squad during the January transfer window, claiming the club "made bids on 29 strikers".

• Hodgson 'wounded' by Reds experience

The Baggies' sole acquisition last month - at a time when they are again fighting to stay in the Premier League - was a loan deal involving Arsenal striker Carlos Vela.

Albion were linked with a host of other players, most notably John Carew who eventually joined Stoke, as well as Chelsea youngsters Daniel Sturridge and Jeffrey Bruma.

Ashworth, however, has revealed the club made a total of 29 bids for strikers last month, but for one reason or another, only the deal for Vela came through.

Defending himself and the club from the fans who have made their thoughts known, Ashworth told the Express & Star: "We didn't sit on our backsides and do nothing through the window. We actually made bids on 29 strikers in January to take on loan.

"Some weren't available, some had work permit issues, two were not medically fit to come so we pulled out. Two moved within their countries because they didn't want to move their families. It's a long drawn-out process.

"We were unfortunate not to get John Carew in the end. But it wasn't through lack of trying and not being willing to pay what people wanted us to pay. He made a decision to go to Stoke City and I respect that.''

Speaking to the , Ashworth added: "I get frustrated as well. I don't think anyone is more passionate than I am or the staff at the club. We're desperate to succeed.

"But as the chairman stated, January is basically for topping up, and we haven't historically done a great deal in January. It is very, very difficult.''

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