Goals will start to flow - Robinson

PUBLISHED: 14:39 08 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:33 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

Carl Robinson is still waiting for his first goal for Norwich City - but he's not worried who finds the net if they can secure their first Coca-Cola Championship victory of the season tonight.

Carl Robinson is still waiting for his first goal for Norwich City - but he's not worried who finds the net if they can secure their first Coca-Cola Championship victory of the season tonight.

The Canaries will be anxious to open their goals and points account at home to Preston North End (7.45pm) after failing to cash in on their opportunities in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Leeds.

There was an acute shortage of goals from midfield for City last season with two of the central trio on duty at Elland Road, Robinson and Dickson Etuhu, yet to get off the mark since arriving at Carrow Road, while Youssef Safri scored just once in 2005-06.

But Wales international Robinson, who scored 19 times during his Wolves career, is not losing any sleep after 23 senior matches for City without getting on the scoresheet. He pushed forward to good effect at Leeds and feels his day will come.

“I'm not worried about it, no. There's the potential for goals all over the team and I'm not worrying about that one bit,” he said. “But having said that, when it comes it will be nice. It's part of my game that I have got in me. There were two seasons when I scored eight goals at Wolves, which was pleasing.

“I should have maybe got on the end of one or two of Hucks' crosses at Leeds when I was in the box. If Rob Earnshaw's playing up there on his own, which he was at the time, it's up to the supporting midfield and other wide men to get in the box. It seemed to be me at the weekend, but nothing really dropped for me. Unfortunately, Rob just didn't turn his chances into goals, but he will do.”

Robinson said he was encouraged by City's display, in spite of the scoreline.

“We set out our formation and for 45 minutes we battered them and created four or five excellent opportunities,” he said.

“We were a threat on the break, whether it was from deep or from the middle of the field. We kept possession very well in the middle of the park, because we had an extra man in there, but we're disappointed because we didn't pick up anything from a game which we thought we could have won, never mind taken a point from.”

Whether manager Nigel Worthington tonight retains his 4-5-1 formation, which he prefers to call 4-3-3, remains to be seen. He may opt for a second striker and leave out one of his central midfielders.

But 29-year-old Robinson expects an entertaining encounter with a Preston team now managed by his former team-mate, Paul Simpson, following Billy Davies' exit to Derby.

Said Robinson: “I know Paul because I played with him at Wolves. He's a good lad, he likes to pass the ball, he likes to get his team playing. The lads at Carlisle, where they won two consecutive promotions, loved him to bits. It was a loss for them that he moved to Preston but he wants to challenge himself at a bigger club and a higher level and that's what he's doing at Preston, so hopefully he will do well - but after tonight.”

Robinson and Earnshaw will be back on international duty with Wales when they face Bulgaria at Swansea next Tuesday, but the midfielder insisted: “That's in the back of my mind at the moment. I'm not really thinking about that. We've got two very important games coming up on Tuesday and Saturday, so I'm hoping two positive results will lead us into that game.”

There will be more reunions with City's Dickson Etuhu and Preston's Jason Jarrett on opposing sides after effectively swapping clubs last season, and Worthington believes he is beginning to see the best of Etuhu.

“When Dickson came from Preston, he was very, very dejected,” said Worthington. “We brought him here because we know the ability that he possesses as a player. It took him time to settle in, to get used to the environment, the training, the fitness side, and he's put a marker down on Saturday. If he performs like that he will be a very valuable asset.”

Etuhu was keen to play down the old club connection when he said: “It's just another game. I haven't really seen them play but I'm not bothered how strong they are, I'm only really bothered about us.

“I am confident we can beat any team in this league but it's how we play on the day.”

Preston doubled the Canaries last season, winning 3-0 at Carrow Road in January, when goalscorer Adam Nowland suffered a broken leg after a challenge by Etuhu, and 2-0 at Deepdale in April when own goals by central defenders Jason Shackell and Gary Doherty ended City's mathematical chance of a play-off place.

City are without Andy Hughes (groin strain), Ian Henderson (groin) and Rossi Jarvis (thigh), while Simpson, linked yesterday with a move for veteran striker Duncan Ferguson, has injury worries over Danny Dichio (hip) and Matt Hill (dead leg).

Brian O'Neil (knee) and Joe Anyinsah (thigh) remain out, while the long-term absentees are Nowland, Youl Mawene (knee), Callum Davidson (knee) and Brett Ormerod (broken leg).

t City have put an extra 500 Jarrold Stand tickets on sale for tonight's game after Preston failed to take up their full allocation. Prices are £21 for adults, £15 for concessions and £10 for under-12s, with a £2 discount for members.

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