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The Arizonan

Windass to score against Fulham for Hull

last updated Wednesday 13th August 2008, 1:56 PM
Steve Davis
Steve Davis
. Evergreen Dean Windass can be Hull's saviour in their first season in the Barclays Premier League, according to captain Ian Ashbee.

The 39-year-old striker scored the all-important play-off final goal at Wembley which secured top-flight status for the first time in Hull's history, and Ashbee admits it would be typical of the veteran to score their first-ever top-flight goal against Fulham at the KC Stadium on Saturday.

Ashbee, who has played for the East Yorkshire club throughout three promotion-winning campaigns, realises they will be among the favourites for relegation but believes the locally-born former Bradford frontman can help them defy the odds.

"We've got Dean Windass, haven't we?" said Ashbee. "He's the man. He's been there before. He's been around the block a few times.

"But when you've got him in your side, you've always got a chance. The gaffer has brought quality in as well."

Speaking in Sunderland at the north-east launch of the Premier League's 'Get On With The Game' programme, Ashbee insisted age will not be a barrier to Windass on his return to the top flight.

"The gaffer has tried to give him days off and he won't have them," said Ashbee.

"He works hard - he's never been the quickest so he's not lost his legs in that respect - and he sets standards in our football club.

"It would be typical of him to score the opening goal. People say at Wembley it was written in the gods that he would score and he went and did it.

"In the previous year he scored a goal at Cardiff that kept us in the Championship. It's probably going to be him who is going to score on Saturday."

Hull's remarkable rise through the league has taken even their loyal skipper by surprise, although he never doubted the club would one day play in the Premier League.

"When I first joined the club, I knew it could definitely be big enough to play in the top flight but I didn't realise it would happen as quickly as it has," he said.

"On a personal level, it's brilliant and I'm looking forward to the challenge.

"You challenge yourself every year. I've been promoted three times and each year I've proven that I can do it in every league. I just want to prove it I can do it in this league.

"Now is going to be the biggest challenge but people have done it in the past.

"The gaffer wants us to play with a smile on our face but we want to win football games."

Source Ian Laybourn at PA Sport
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