Eagle is ready for take off
Teenager Robert Eagle is ready to step into arguably the biggest boots at Norwich City this afternoon. The 19-year-old impressed in midweek at Port Vale and if flying winger Darren Huckerby fails to recover from a back injury, he will become the first league debutant of Peter Grant's reign at Carrow Road.
By CHRIS LAKEY
Teenager Robert Eagle is ready to step into arguably the biggest boots at Norwich City this afternoon.
The 19-year-old impressed in midweek at Port Vale and if flying winger Darren Huckerby fails to recover from a back injury, he will become the first league debutant of Peter Grant's reign at Carrow Road.
“He is very much in my thoughts,” said Grant. “I still think we have got to play to our strengths, so I don't have a problem with him at all.”
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Eagle has played just two games for City - starting the second round Carling Cup tie at Rotherham last month and then coming on as a first-half sub for Youssef Safri on Tuesday.
“If the gaffer wants me I will step in, if he doesn't I am always ready for him if he needs me,” said Eagle.
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Huckerby was absent for both games Eagle has played in, so the signs are looking good for the Leiston teenager, who has been quick to take advice from City's inspirational wide man.
“Obviously he is a bigger player and I look up to him and learn off him and he helps me out on the training pitch, he's a really, really nice bloke,” said Eagle.
“He's a bit quicker than me, even though he's 30 - he's a great player.”
Eagle ultimately finished on the losing side in midweek, but wasn't afraid to step up and take City's fourth spot kick in the penalty shoot-out - even though he saw his effort come back off the woodwork.
“Everyone is gutted when they miss a penalty, but that's just the way it goes, that's football,” he said. “I was a bit nervous, but that's the way it is. I just went along with it and tried to be as casual as I could. I possibly hit it too well - an inch under the bar and it would have been a great penalty.
“But it was good, like the Rotherham game - just another game so I took it in my stride really. They said I played really well, the older lads, it was really good.
“Last year I wasn't really involved in the first team so this year has been the biggest year of my career and it's been good.”
The Stoke challenge will be a lot different to that of their near neighbours - Eagle knows that only too well, but
“I am sure it is much higher than the cups, it is higher each level you go but it would be good if I step in,” he said.
Eagle is a very different player from Huckerby, whose incredible speed has been the undoing of many a defender.
“My strengths? Getting crosses in, trying to get past people, assists for Dion or Earnie, the big players up front.
“And if they are trying to kick me and I am trying to get around them as well, it makes me want to play better.”