Earnshaw: Top six is not beyond us

CHRIS WISE Robert Earnshaw revealed yesterday how he would be bending over backwards to help Norwich City clinch an unlikely place in the end of season play-offs.


Robert Earnshaw revealed yesterday how he would be bending over backwards to help Norwich City clinch an unlikely place in the end of season play-offs.

The Welsh international is convinced his new club have got what it takes to finish in the top six, even though they are currently 10 points off the pace and could fall even further adrift before tomorrow's derby showdown against Ipswich at Carrow Road.

Earnshaw is determined to play his part in what would be an incredible late surge and would dearly love to mark his debut by scoring against City's arch-rivals - before giving home fans an early taste of one of the most famous goal celebrations in English football.

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The £2.75m striker has celebrated the majority of his 99 league goals by launching himself into a gravity defying backwards somersault - and if he reaches three figures against Town he will know exactly how to mark the joyous occasion.

“I have always celebrated goals like that and I am not going to change now,” said Earnshaw as he prepared for the first training session with his new colleagues since his big-money switch from West Bromwich Albion.

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“Hopefully there will be a lot of those celebrations to come here. I am very excitied about being at this club and I am also feeling very positive as well. I really can't wait to get out there.

“There are 15 games left to play and hopefully we will win a good proportion of them. If we do that then we can still get into the play-offs - that is still the aim as far as I am concerned.

“There is gap there but it is not impossible to make up. I want to play in the Premier League, and I'm sure everyone else here does too, so that's the target. We have got to get this club promoted as soon as possible. It is going to need a big effort from everyone between now and the end of the season. It's a good challenge for us.

“If a club had come in who had no chance of promotion that would have been an issue for me. I looked at Norwich and I knew they had a chance.”

City manager Nigel Worthington refused to confirm whether Earnshaw would be thrown straight in at the deep end tomorrow. But it would be a major surprise if the proven goal-scorer was left on the sidelines at a time when City desperately need a result after taking just one point from a possible 12 since the turn of the year.

Like all good professionals the player himself was taking nothing for granted ahead of the big game - but he is clearly excited at the prospect of getting regular football again after an unhappy spell at the Hawthorns.

“Hopefully I will be in the team on Sunday,” he said. “I have come here to play football, score goals and enjoy myself - and I hope that's the way it will turn out.

“It will take me a couple of months to get to know everyone properly and work out how they play. But I am ready to step straight in if required.

“It was a bit of a rush to get everything sorted out but I am here now and I am just looking forward doing well for Norwich City. It's like the first day at school and I am very excited.

“I have been involved in a few derbies in my time for Cardiff and West Brom and I have also played for Wales against England so I know what these sort of games are all about.

“This is another chapter for me and I am really looking forward to it.”

Earnshaw went on to reveal that he had set himself a goal target for the rest of the season - but he wasn't prepared to spill the beans to the Eastern Daily Press!

“It's up there,” he said, pointing to his head. “But that's where it will stay. All I will say to the supporters is that I will try and score as many goals as possible.

“The one thing I love doing more than anything else is scoring goals. There is nothing better. Now I want to keeping knocking them in for Norwich.

“I don't want to talk anything up though. I just want to let it flow and see how it goes.”

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