Earnshaw enjoys dream return to Cardiff

PUBLISHED: 18:38 23 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:23 14 September 2010

Robert Earnshaw reflected on a dream return to his spiritual home after firing the Canaries to an overdue away victory. The Welsh international striker was brought up in Cardiff and scored more than a hundred goals for his local team before moving on - so Saturday's game at Ninian Park was always going to be a special occasion for him.

Robert Earnshaw reflected on a dream return to his spiritual home after firing the Canaries to an overdue away victory.

The Welsh international striker was brought up in Cardiff and scored more than a hundred goals for his local team before moving on - so Saturday's game at Ninian Park was always going to be a special occasion for him.

Earnshaw's afternoon got off to the ideal start when he was given a tremendous reception by the Ninian Park faithful - and from then on it just got better and better for the 25-year-old frontman as he put Norwich in front with a brilliantly taken goal before playing his part in a solid team effort that yielded three extremely welcome points.

The fact that his strike was warmly applauded by the home fans was another plus and afterwards Earnshaw had a beaming smile on his face as he reflected on his most memorable game yet for the new City in his life.

“It was great coming back - the whole day was superb,” he said. “I wanted to score today, and I got the goal - and the Cardiff fans also gave me a good reception, which I really appreciated.

"The fact that they applauded when I scored was nice - and says it all really. They gave me a lot of respect because of the time I had here - and I would like to thank them for that.

"It's a good feeling, although I guess it might have been a little bit different if a place in the play-offs had been at stake! They obviously wouldn't have been quite so pleased then.

“I didn't do any somersaults because of where I was playing. I was delighted to score, of course I was, but it was a case of showing a bit of respect to the people here.”

He added: “It was a good day for me but it was also a good day for the team and that's the main thing. It was a good performance and it was really pleasing to get an away win after the struggles we have had on our travels over the last few months.

"We worked really hard and didn't allow them many sights on goal. I certainly don't remember them having too many clear-cut chances. That was pleasing because we have been giving our opponents too many goal scoring opportunities recently, especially in away games.

"We also played a bit more football than we had been doing of late and that was also pleasing to see. We kept the ball and passed it really well at times. To do all that and win the game as well made it a very happy return for me.”

Earnshaw was pleased to score the goal that ended a dismal run of eight games without an away win stretching back to New Year's Eve - and was grateful for an assist from the much maligned Andy Hughes in the lead-up to his stunning 16th minute strike.

"I played a little one-two with Hughesy and it was there to be hit - so I hit it,” he said. “It just flew in and as a striker it's always nice to see that.

"But, as I said, the most important thing is that we won the match and now we want to win against Wolves next week as well to send the fans home happy.

"I hope there's a good atmosphere for that one. We have blocked out everything that has been happening with the club and the fans, knuckled down and got six straight wins. We have carried on with our jobs and won games of football and hopefully that will continue.

"It's very frustrating that we have had to wait so long to put in an away performance like this. The gaffer has been going on about it for a long time and we have been working hard on it in training - and it's something we'll definitely have to look at again next season. Our away performances have got to improve - and this was a good way to start. We have finished off with a win - and that gives us a solid base to work on when we come back for pre-season.

"There will be a lot of work to do during the summer I think. We know a few of the out of contract lads will be leaving and I should imagine one or two new faces will be brought in and we'll just have to see how it goes. Hopefully we will have a great season."

When the final whistle sounded on Saturday Earnshaw joined the rest of his colleagues in throwing his shirt into the Norwich section at Ninian Park and he was quick to pay tribute to the fans after the game.

"It was the final away game of the season and the fans had travelled a long way to be there,” he said. “They have supported us in good numbers ever since I have been here and I understand it has been the same all season, even though the results have not been good. The very least we could do was to go over to them and throw in our shirts. It was a little token of our appreciation.”

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