Deano looking forward to United challenge

Dean Ashton says he can't wait to savour the experience of playing in front of more than 60,000 people at Manchester United tonight.

The Hammers striker, who grew up in Crewe, just a few miles down the M6 from Old Trafford, will be making his first-ever appearance at the famous stadium and admits it is the kind of fixture that made him so desperate to play in the Premiership.

"It's something I've always dreamed of doing," he says. "Having grown up not far from Old Trafford, I was always aware of how big the club was.

"Most of my family are United fans and, although I didn't really follow them, they were a team I always looked up to and it will be a fantastic experience to play at such a great stadium.

"This is the kind of occasion that makes you want to be in the Premiership, and I can't wait to get out there and give it my best shot."

After successive away wins at Manchester City and Wigan Athletic in our past two matches, Hammers certainly have no reason to be fearful of another trip to the north-west and, with a match-winning performance against Stuart Pearce's team already under his belt, Dean will be hoping to silence the red half of the city tonight.

"It's always nice to be confident going into the next game," he says. It will be a big test for us, I watched United against Birmingham on Sunday and they were very strong. We can look forward to it, though, especially after the week we've just had.

"No one will expect us to get a result up there given United's form at Old Trafford in recent weeks, but we know we are capable of winning away from home and everyone here is looking forward to the challenge."

*You can still vote for Dean in the Football Association's Player of the Round award for the FA Cup sixth round. Simply go to to cast your vote, before the deadline of 9.00am on Friday (March 31).