‘I wish I’d stayed for longer’ - Earnshaw opens up on his Canaries career
- Credit: EDP pics © 2006
Robert Earnshaw wishes he could have remained a Norwich City player for longer, as he reveals that he “loved playing for the club”.
The former striker was denied one of the best goal-scoring seasons of his career when injury struck midway through the 2006-07 season - when he still finished up as City’s top scorer with 19 goals in 30 games for Peter Grant’s team.
“I had scored 17 goals by Christmas and I was on a ridiculous run,” he recalls. “If I had carried on it would have been right up there with one of my best seasons.
“I scored 35 goals at Cardiff one year, that was my best season, but I was really on the path in the same direction. Then just after Christmas we were training and I got an injury which actually ended up being the worst injury of my career.
“We were shooting one day in training and doing some extras really after training. I went to shoot and kind of bend the ball but as I pulled back I ripped my groin, tore it off the bone really.”
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At the time City were 17th but still within nine points of fifth in a congested Championship mid-table but with the Wales international returning with two gals in the final five matches, 16th place led to Derby swooping for the fit-again forward.
“At that time I didn’t want to leave because I really enjoyed my time at Norwich - and I always say that I think it was one of my most consistent times,” Earnshaw continued. “I loved it, I loved playing for the club and I really enjoyed the whole experience and actually I wish I’d stayed for longer but I had a buy-out clause, which was triggered at the time by Derby.”
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With injury still fresh in his mind Earnshaw, 26 years old at the time, joined the promoted Rams in the top flight for £3.5million. City were linked with interest in a loan return during January 2008, a couple of months after Glenn Roeder had succeeded Grant, with the striker being given limited chances for a rock-bottom Derby team.
However, that opportunity never arrived, adding: “I don’t know if there was anything officially, I knew there were some teams interested. I don’t know if Norwich were definitely one of them.”
- For more from Earnshaw, listen to the podcast above and check back to this website tomorrow.