Norwich City’s players must get over relegation disappointment quickly
- Credit: NATHAN CLARKE
Norwich City's contracted squad are going to have to come to terms with being Championship players quickly – if they want to stay at Carrow Road.
Ashton can appreciate the feelings currently being experienced by City's players, after he moved to Norwich from Crewe to play in the Premier League – only to suffer relegation and an all too swift return to the Football League.
And whether they are ready for a promotion tilt under newly confirmed permanent manager Neil Adams or not, Ashton believes those players need to make up their minds as quickly as possible – and stick to that decision.
'It is going to be difficult for them because you are stuck in that place where most of the players will want to see their career going forward in the Premier League, playing week in and week out in the Premier League,' said Ashton.
'And at the same time, a lot of players will be more than happy at Norwich, love the club, enjoy playing for the club – which was the situation I was in.
'I'd come from Crewe and wanted to play in the Premier League; I'd felt like I didn't want to be in the Championship any longer. But at the same time I said I wanted to stay at Norwich, so I did. They rewarded me with a new contract and then halfway through the season I left.'
West Ham was the destination for Ashton in January 2006, as Norwich's £7.5m record transfer sale. The Canaries would have to wait five years before returning.
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'It's one of those balancing acts I think, for the players,' added Ashton. 'They have to make up their minds in terms of what they really want. But at the same time, they're contracted to Norwich and the quicker you get your head around playing in the Championship, the better.
'That was how I tried to see it as – that I play for Norwich and I will try to do my best for Norwich; if that changes, it changes. There will be no doubt the club will have offers they can't refuse as well.'