Earnshaw: It won't happen again
CHRIS LAKEY Robert Earnshaw believes City fans witnessed a miracle at Elland Road as his shooting boots let him down on the opening day of the season.
By CHRIS LAKEY
Robert Earnshaw believes City fans witnessed a miracle at Elland Road as his shooting boots let him down on the opening day of the season.
The Wales international had already spurned enough chances to seal a City win by the time David Healey, on his 27th birthday, scored from the spot on 40 minutes to hand victory to Leeds.
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More chances came and went, leaving Earnshaw more than a little bemused - but promising City fans it won't happen again.
“We have seen a miracle here,” said Earnshaw, who saw keeper Tony Warner block a shot with his legs and then hit the post within the first half hour alone. “You won't see this again. On another day I get a hat-trick and everything goes in.
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“It is crazy - but it's nothing to worry about. I think we played well, especially first half, I thought we looked very sharp and very good, but it's not a problem when this happens.
“When you play like this and perform like this you are just unlucky at the end of the day and we'll take that because I can't see this happening again over the next four years.”
What happened at the other end, when newboy Lee Croft appeared to upend Steve Stone and Eirik Bakke in an impressive double foul to conceded the penalty, earned Leeds win they were more than grateful to accept.
“It was a bit of a smash and grab from Leeds, to be fair,” said Earnshaw. “It was just disappointing. It was a harsh penalty - but I think it probably was - but at the end of the day we played well enough to think we did well. We worked hard enough and passed the ball well. There is nothing else you can do about it.”
It was Earnshaw's own first-day gremlins that brought a hint of a frown to a face that usually smiles its way through football matches.
“It is no problem, what can you do?” he asked. “I bent one which hit the post in the first half, in the second there was one I am not sure if he got a kick on it, but it's hit the post again and he's had a couple of great saves. We did alright, we created enough chances, it is just not a problem.”
Instead of the usual route via Darren Huckerby, Earnshaw had the backing of a cohesive midfield and an outlet down the right flank in the shape of Croft.
“To be fair, we have got good players so even when you have people like Paul McVeigh or Carl Robinson, who has played out there the last couple of weeks, they're not out-and-out wingers, they want the ball to their feet and you just have to adapt, but it's okay, you get that difference,” said Earnshaw.
“Then you've got Crofty, who can go past players and wants to get crosses in, which is good for me and good for the midfielders as well, getting in the box. I thought we did very well, especially first half. We have got the two boys, Hucks and Croft, we got them the ball and passed it as well, the little one-twos in midfield, I was quite impressed.”