Earnie ready for international return

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 April 2007 | UPDATED: 10:15 14 September 2010

Canaries goal machine Robert Earnshaw is hoping a return to the international fold will turn out to be a silver lining to a season that has been torn in two by injury.

By CHRIS LAKEY

Canaries goal machine Robert Earnshaw is hoping a return to the international fold will turn out to be a silver lining to a season that has been torn in two by injury.

Earnshaw has told Wales boss John Toshack that he is fit and ready to play an active part in the European Championship qualifying campaign, which resumes against the Czech Republic at the Millennium Stadium on June 2.

“I spoke to him last weekend and he asked me how things were fitness-wise and would I be back, so I updated him and told him I was ready for duty,” said Earnshaw, who started his first match for City in three months when he lined up against Ipswich on Sunday. “I am sure he has seen me getting these games in and that I am getting there.”

Earnshaw has been a frustrated spectator since his season was turned on its head by a groin injury picked up on the training fields of Colney.

The 26-year-old required surgery on a torn muscle and made a surprise comeback with a cameo appearance at Leicester 10 days ago, followed by another outing at Burnley.

He completed the full 90 minutes against Ipswich but admits the outing merely served to remind him just what he's been missing after his enforced absence.

“It was brilliant, it's good to be back, but I'm gutted because I just wanted to play,” he said. “I'm gutted that the season is finishing and there are only a couple of weeks left.

“But at least my season goes on because while some of the lads will be finished I won't be getting much peace. When everybody has the first month off I am still going to be working. I will have to see how long I have off - it might not be a lot of time but with what has happened I am looking forward to it.”

Wales warm-up for the Czech match with a friendly against New Zealand in Wrexham on May 26, with Earnshaw likely to be in the running for a start alongside ex-Canary Craig Bellamy, or Southend's Freddy Eastwood, who has recently proved his Wales ancestry to the Football Association of Wales.

Much depends on Earnshaw's response after such a long time out, although he insists he is ready for the early test of his fitness on the international stage, having proved himself against Ipswich

“The gaffer asked me the other day how I feel and if I thought I was ready to play and I said I was,” he explained. “The only disappointment against Ipswich was that we didn't win. It was there to win. We are happy we didn't lose, that was the last thing we needed. The first half I thought we played really well. We could have been a bit more clever, but I think if we are a little bit sharper and creating a bit more we could have go a couple more goals.

“The atmosphere was good and you have to thank the fans because they were great. It was good to go out there knowing they were behind you.”

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