Ashton apologises to Mallinder
March 6, 2012
Chris Ashton has remained tight-lipped about his bust-up with Mallinder © Getty Images
England winger Chris Ashton has held out an olive branch to Saints boss Jim Mallinder after suffering a bust-up with the coach after being dropped back in January.
With Ashton set to play for Aviva Premiership champions Saracens next term, Mallinder axed the winger from the squad for their final match of the Heineken Cup group stages with Munster. Ashton was reported to have given Mallinder a piece of his mind, only for the Saints boss to respond in kind. With a stand-off the result, Ashton has now admitted that he should not have acted the way he did.
"I shouldn't have spoken to Jim the way I did," the winger told the Daily Mirror. "It's not my position to do that. It was his choice, his decision.
"Did I go too far? Maybe in the way I reacted I did. I should have left it a bit to cool down and to understand what his reasons were. At the time you don't see that. You see 'oh, he's taking away what I live for,' which is playing on the weekend.
"So I went straight in and told him what I felt. He then told me how he felt. It wasn't the best time to have that discussion."
And Ashton now faces an uncertain future on both the international and domestic scene. He is yet to exhibit the same sort of free-scoring form from last year and with the Saints preparing for life after Ashton, he may get limited game time at the club side until the end of the season.
"I don't know if I'll play again for Northampton," Ashton said. "It's up to Jim as to whether he picks me again. Whatever Jim says goes, but I hope he does because I don't want my Northampton career to end on that sour note."
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