Earnie delighted to make it on his own

DAVID CUFFLEY Robert Earnshaw insisted he was happy to go solo in the Norwich City attack - after his stunning goal wrapped up victory over Preston North End.


Striker Robert Earnshaw last night insisted he was happy to go solo in the Norwich City attack - after his stunning goal wrapped up victory over Preston North End.

The Canaries put their first three Coca-Cola Championship points of the season on the board with a 2-0 win at Carrow Road, the Wales international producing a superb finish from substitute Paul McVeigh's cross nine minutes from time, after Preston defender Sean St Ledger had sliced Darren Huckerby's cross into his own net to give the hosts a 55th-minute lead.

And 25-year-old Earnshaw, who had been out of luck with a string of chances in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Leeds, said he was perfectly at ease playing as the one central striker in what manager Nigel Worthington regards as a 4-3-3 line-up, labelled by others as 4-5-1.

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“A lot of people have said 'Do you enjoy playing up front on your own? Do you want someone up there with you?' For me, I've enjoyed it,” said Earnshaw.

“In the last two games, I've got a lot of chances, and I've got the goal tonight. The thing people forget is, when you play up front on your own, if you get the support around you, it doesn't limit you.

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“You're almost playing a front five because as long as I get the support, if the ball is played to me I can touch it off and I've got people running behind me, in front of me, that's the biggest thing. As long as I get the support, everything falls into place.”

Worthington has repeatedly stressed his desire to find a big striking partner for Earnshaw, missing out on targets such as Rob Hulse, Steve Howard and Geoff Horsfield, but the man himself is unconcerned, and happy to see the ball played to him on the deck.

“We've got to play football, pass the ball. Look at the Premier League teams - that's what they do,” said Earnshaw.

“It was a great game tonight. It was a pleasure to be out there. At times I was admiring myself because we kept the ball so good and passed it well. I'm thankful we got the result because it would have been a massive injustice, especially after Saturday, if we hadn't.

“I think the fans enjoyed the football and the result and it was good that we got that for them.”

Of his goal, he said: “I thought Paul McVeigh was going to lift it over the defender, but it dropped just behind me and I was left just to hit it and I was thankful that it went in.

“We had a little bit of luck with the first goal and sealed it with the second, but the football we played tonight was brilliant, especially in the first half.”

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