Deano picture gallery exclusive

Dean Ashton is training hard with England ahead of their Wednesday night friendly against the United States at Wembley and was there to see him in action.

Check out our exclusive picture gallery of the 24-year-old in action with the rest of Fabio Capello's squad and the manager's words will have raised hopes that Ashton is in line for his first cap either against the US or away to Trinidad and Tobago on 1 June. No other striker in the party is in the same form as Ashton, after he hit five goals in his last eight games with West Ham United to end the 2007/08 domestic club campaign in emphatic style.

Speaking to, Capello said: "When a player puts on the England shirt you have to play with a certain kind of spirit and that is very important. I will play the first eleven who I think are the best players at the moment. Against USA I want to see one team playing like a group, with courage, and strong. It is very important for me to recover the spirit of the England team."

Ashton has twice been in England squads before - a friendly against Greece in August 2006 and then for European Championship qualifiers against Estonia and Russia last October - only for injury to end his chances on both occasions. There is further optimism the fully-fit former Under-21 forward could make the senior step-up with Michael Owen having to withdraw because of a virus. will have full coverage of Ashton's week and will also keep you up to date with Jack Collison's progress with Wales and England U19 duo James Tomkins and Freddie Sears.