Dean Ashton wants strikers to start making the difference for Norwich City

Dean Ashton scored the winner for City in a 2-1 win over Newcastle in April 2005. Picture: NICK BUTC

Dean Ashton scored the winner for City in a 2-1 win over Newcastle in April 2005. Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Archant © 2005

Dean Ashton has called on Norwich City's strikers to step up to the plate and spearhead a push for survival.

The former Canaries striker knows all about what it takes to score goals during a survival battle, scoring seven in 16 games after joining from Crewe Alexandra for £3million in January 2005.

Unfortunately for Ashton and City his goals were not enough to avoid relegation from the top flight, but the club's current crop of strikers still have time on their side.

Cameron Jerome has managed three goals in 29 games, Dieumerci Mbokani four in 23 and Patrick Bamford is yet to score in his first five appearances for the club – with Ashton making it clear those statistics must improve.

'It could absolutely cost them. They've tried all the strikers that they've got,' Ashton said, with injured winger Nathan Redmond City's top scorer with five league goals.

'Mbokani has had a go, Jerome, Bamford's had a start as well. No one has really hit the ground with the amount of goals that you want. You need someone who is going to step forward.'

Alen Neil's team are outside of the Premier League relegation zone and two points clear of Sunderland ahead of Saturday's crunch clash with survival rivals Newcastle at Carrow Road.

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Bamford and Mbokani started the revitalising 1-0 win at West Brom before the international break and could well keep their places against an injury-hit Magpies defence, who are set to field third choice goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Ashton – who still lives in Norfolk, having had to retire early at 26 due to ankle problems – showed City's strikers how it's done with a spectacular bicycle kick during Mark Noble's West ham testimonial on Monday.

The 32-year-old, speaking to Sky Sports, added: 'It might only need to be three goals from now until the end of the season but those three goals could be the difference between staying up and going down.'