Earnshaw all set to lead by experience

JONATHAN REDHEAD Norwich City striker Robert Earnshaw is ready to take on the role of an elder statesman ahead of Sunday's derby clash with Ipswich Town at Carrow Road.

JONATHAN REDHEAD

Norwich City striker Robert Earnshaw is ready to take on the role of an elder statesman ahead of Sunday's derby clash with Ipswich Town at Carrow Road.

With injury ravaging Peter Grant's squad and youngsters such as Kris Renton and Bally Smart making their first-team debuts in the last week, 24-year-old Earnshaw could well be one of the most experienced players to feature against the Tractor Boys.

While he is currently trying to build up his fitness after a three-month spell on the sidelines with injury, the Welsh international has also found himself passing on hints and tips to City's youngsters.


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The likes of teenagers Renton, Smart, Chris Martin and Michael Spillane and 20-year-old Robert Eagle, could all find themselves thrown into the white hot derby atmosphere at the weekend, with a whole host of senior players expected to be missing.

But Earnshaw is sure things will turn out well for the youngsters and the team despite their lack of

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experience.

“We've got quite a small squad,” he said. “We've got a lot of youngsters so that's why everybody's looking at it.

“At other clubs normally you get a few older boys, but we've got literally most of the youth team in our squad. That's the difference.

“They haven't got that experience or whatever, but it's okay.”

And he admitted to the Norwich City official website, www.canaries.co.uk, that he has been offering up advice almost without realising.

“You find yourself having to, you know,” he said.

“Before, I was looking to the older players to help out and keep taking, but then you find yourself doing it

automatically.

“You have to keep talking to them and telling them what to do here and there. It helps them. You need to do that.”

Earnshaw, who says he is feeling fit and raring to go, claimed that Sunday's game will not be about revenge for the 3-1 defeat at Portman Road back in November.

“At the end of the day we've got to go out and try to win the game no matter what - that's what we're definitely going to try to do,” he said.

“It's all down to Sunday and how it is on the day and hopefully we can play well. That's the main thing.

“As long as we can play well I think everybody will be happy. Obviously we'll try to score as many goals as we can and try to win the game.”

And the man who has found the net 18 times this season despite his injury woes, is keen to add to his tally on his return to action in front of the Carrow Road faithful.

“That's the aim. I'm gradually getting back to fitness and need to be playing. So I'm looking forward to it,” he said.

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