Earnie braced for summer rumours

PUBLISHED: 13:18 27 April 2007 | UPDATED: 10:15 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

Robert Earnshaw is bracing himself for a summer of transfer talk - and he doesn't mind in the slightest. Norwich City's top scorer is hoping to start his second successive game when the Canaries face play-off contenders Southampton in their final Coca-Cola Championship home game of the season tomorrow (3pm).

Robert Earnshaw is bracing himself for a summer of transfer talk - and he doesn't mind in the slightest.

Norwich City's top scorer is hoping to start his second successive game when the Canaries face play-off contenders Southampton in their final Coca-Cola Championship home game of the season tomorrow (3pm).

After three months out following a groin operation, Earnshaw is delighted to have managed two brief outings as a substitute and 90 minutes in the East Anglian derby against Ipswich.

And after scoring a penalty at Leicester on his return to action a fortnight ago, the 26-year-old Wales international still has the chance to reach 20 Championship goals for the season, now just two short with two matches left.

Such an achievement would be bound to make potential admirers sit up and take notice when the close season transfer market gets into full swing, but Earnshaw is not unduly worried by the likely attention.

He said: "I think I'm probably going to get that talk anyway. I just get used to it and that's how it's going to be. I don't get bothered by it.

"I sometimes hope to get it because that means I'm doing well. But I don't get fazed by it.

"I love playing for Norwich. I think it's a good place to play football. It's going well for me so I'm enjoying my time here."

Manager Peter Grant was equally phlegmatic at the prospect of inquiries for potential targets such as Earnshaw and midfielder Dickson Etuhu.

He said: "I'll be absolutely delighted if we get phonecalls about all the squad because it means they're doing their business. In an ideal world, I would love to get phonecalls from all the managers asking about X, Y and Z. The good thing is our players are contracted to us.

"I've no worries about that whatsoever. These guys have done exceptionally well. Earnie could have had 30 goals if he'd kept fit. Dickson has done exceptionally well since I came here, apart from two or three games. I'd be surprised, disappointed if people weren't phoning me about them. The good thing is I can say no because all these guys are under contract."

Tomorrow's game brings down the curtain on league football at Carrow Road until August, but the season is finishing too quickly for Earnshaw, who said: "All I need now is games. The more games I play the better, the fitter I'm going to get.

"It's the last home game, so we need to put on a show and send everyone off with a good feeling at the end of the season. We want to put on a good performance, so I'll be ready. I'm sure everybody else in there will be. We're looking forward to it.

"I'm gutted because the season's ending. I just want to play games, score goals and all the rest of it.

"All the gaffer's been saying for the last six or seven weeks is that we still have things to play for. Every time we go out there, we want to win the game. It doesn't matter if they're top of the league or going for the play-offs, we're going to try to beat them.

"I think everybody is jealous of everyone in the play-offs or the top two. I am. I want to be top of the league or second or looking to go up to the Premier League. I think this club should be going that way."

As for the chance to reach the 20-goal mark, he said: "I have two games to do it. I am not going to really think about it, because when I go into a game I let things happen. I feel better like that. I don't actually think about it, I just go and concentrate on trying to have fun.

"If that is my motivation everything else takes care of itself."

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