Earnie still wants a 20-goal season
CHRIS LAKEY Injured Canaries star Robert Earnshaw says his scoring target of 20 goals this season is back on. The City hitman has been stuck on 17 since a training ground injury in January left him with badly torn groin muscles. But the Wales international has proved to be a quick healer and is now counting down his comeback in days.
Injured Canaries star Robert Earnshaw says his scoring target of 20 goals this season is back on.
The City hitman has been stuck on 17 since a training ground injury in January left him with badly torn groin muscles - effectively ending any hopes the Canaries had of making the play-offs.
But the Wales international has proved to be a quick healer and is now counting down his comeback in days - with the 20-goal milestone last reached by Chris Sutton in 1994 in his sights.
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“That would be great - especially because I have missed the second half of the season,” he said.
“It depends how many games I can get in, but that will be my aim.”
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Despite having missed 11 league games since his injury, only three players have scored more Championship goals than Earnshaw.
City have just eight Championship games remaining, but proof of Earnshaw's rehabilitation comes at the Colney training centre where the 25-year-old is running and kicking a ball and waiting for the signal to join in full contact training - a decision which will be followed quickly by his availability for the first team.
“As soon as my strength is there I can go straight into full training,” he said.
“It is not a case where you have to train a couple of weeks. Once the groin is all right I can go straight in, actually going into full training would be the last thing I have to do.”
“Once I am ready for that I can be straight into the team.
“Right now I am kicking a ball and building it back up. From now until I am back just really depends on how good it feels, so it is over the next, probably, two weeks.
“If it feels good next week I could be back next week, but if it feels good in three weeks time then it could be three weeks, it's one of those. But the aim was 12 weeks and I think in about a week and a half it is 12 weeks - so in about two weeks time it should be all right.”
City fans have the mouthwatering prospect of seeing him line up alongside teen sensation Chris Martin, who has benefited from Earnshaw's absence with a dozen games and five goals since the end of January.
It's a prospect which the master marksman is also looking forward to.
“Yes, definitely,” said Earnshaw. “It is good for him that he has come through because it wasn't a case of getting a chance here and there. He has come straight in and taken his chance and he is making a name for himself which is good.
“He is flying, doing really well. Right now it is all about just learning for him. He can go as far as he wants if he keeps his head down and does it all right and that's what he is doing to be fair. He can't put a foot wrong, and hopefully that carries on.”