dean still in aspin plans

Town boss Neil Aspin has played down rumours suggesting James Dean is set to leave the Shay.

Dean has been on the bench for the last three matches and speculation that he is set to quit the club has been rife.

But Aspin said that, as far as he was concerned, the big frontman was going nowhere.

“If ever you have a centre forward and he happens to be sitting on the bench, he will attract interest from other clubs,” he said, “And there has been in the case of James Dean.

“I have sat down with him and explained the situation - I have kept him in the picture.

“James Dean will not be leaving this club unless I want him to leave this club.

“He still has a part to play.”

Dean has become a talismanic figure for the Shaymen over the past two years or so, mainly due to his goalscoring record.

Since he arrived with Aspin from Harrogate Town - one of the club’s rumoured to be interested in signing him - he has scored 54 goals in 78 starts in all competitions.

He scored 27 goals in 40 games as the Shaymen won the One North title in Aspin’s first season in charge and he bagged 15 last term despite starting the campaign with a knee injury and missing the final two months with the same problem.

Aspin said that as long as he was producing the goods - and he bagged a crucial FA Cup goal from the bench against Tadcaster Albion last weekend - Dean would always have a place in his squad.

“I have enjoyed working with him over the years, he has been a good player for me and I have a lot of time for him,” he said.

“It is like everyone else, he hasn’t played to his potential and he has to do better.

“All players need a kick up the backside and if he responds in the right way there will always be a place at this club for him.

“He went on on Saturday, did the job and got the goal.”