Homeward bound

Robert Earnshaw will use the training fields of Colney this week to try and convince Canaries boss Nigel Worthington to give him a dream start at his old hunting ground on Saturday.


Robert Earnshaw will use the training fields of Colney this week to try and convince Canaries boss Nigel Worthington to give him a dream start at his old hunting ground on Saturday.

Earnshaw heads to south Wales on Saturday hoping to make his first ever competitive appearance against Cardiff City, the club which turned him from a raw 16-year-old into a national treasure.

But, despite his two-goal heroics in City's 3-2 win over QPR on Monday, Earnshaw is by no means guaranteed a starting place at Ninian Park.

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Earnshaw was the lone frontman at Hillsborough on Saturday but it hasn't always been that way, with Leon McKenzie preferred ahead of him on City's travels.

However, Earnshaw's the man with the shirt, and Monday's two-goal haul can only have helped his cause.

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“I'm looking forward to playing down there - but I can't comment on what the gaffer will do,” admitted Earnshaw. “That's for you guys.”

What is clear is that Earnshaw can't wait to get back to the club where he scored more than 100 goals.

“It will be brilliant, I think it's going to be good,” he said. “With the fans I have always had a feeling for them and they have had a feeling for me because I was there for so long and scored a lot of goals, so it is going to be great.

“The fans down there will obviously not want Norwich to win, but I think they will be good to me.”

The last time the Canaries were at Ninian Park, Earnshaw scored what proved to be the winner, but this time around it will be his first competitive appearance at the ground since leaving for West Brom in August, 2004.

“I played there in a pre-season friendly and was there a few weeks ago for Andy Legg's testimonial,” he said. “This is the first league game, and I'm definitely looking forward to it.”

Earnshaw's bank holiday double took his tally to six in 11 starts for the Canaries - but all of those goals have come in his seven home starts, with the 25-year-old yet to break his away-day duck.

Target number one for this weekend, though, is to help City end their own miserable away record - in the eight games since a 1-0 win at Leicester on the final day of 2005, they've drawn three and lost five.

“I want us to play well,” said Earnshaw. “The last few performances away haven't been as good as the home games. That's what we want first of all and everything else will follow. Performing well is the first thing we have to do.”

Confidence, or the lack of it, may be an issue, but Earnshaw believes if City show the same attitude as they did against QPR on Monday, when they extended their home run to six wins on the spin, they could end the away season on a high.

“That's what you have to do, keep plugging away and keep going until the quality shines through,” he said.

“We just need to play the same as we do at home. We will keep going. We've just had some bad luck - on Saturday at Sheffield there was a little lapse of concentration - on any other day we'd probably go and beat them.”

Earnshaw's own confidence should be high, although he admitted he needed a slice of luck in what he described as a crazy ending to Monday's game.

“There aren't a lot of games you see like that. The final 15m was just crazy and we just went for it really. A quickfire 10 minutes we come back from 2-0 down and win 3-2,” he said.

“I have been involved with a few but that was sweet, a great feeling to be fair. It was getting frustrating when we were 2-0 down -it was nice for all the possession to get something out it.”

After Darren Huckerby had dragged City back into the game, Earnshaw was in the right place to convert Jonatan Johansson's cross and then nicked the winner off the boot of Dickson Etuhu five minutes later just as the game headed into injury time.

“To be honest, it's one of the luckiest goals I will probably ever score,” he admitted. “I have gone in for the first one, for the header, and it has gone over my head. Dickson headed it and as I turned around it just hit me and has gone in. Sometimes you deserve that kind of luck.”

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