Let me get at Town - Earnshaw

Quiz Canary new-boy Rob Earnshaw about the prospect of making his City debut in the biggest fixture of the year and a big smile lights up the 24-year-old's face.

Quiz Canary new-boy Rob Earnshaw about the prospect of making his City debut in the biggest fixture of the year and a big smile lights up the 24-year-old's face.

“It's a massive one to start with - and I can't wait,” said Norwich's potential record transfer signing, already well-versed in Norwich-Ipswich folklore despite the fact that the ink was barely dry on his three-and-a-half year Carrow Road deal following his £2.75 million switch from West Bromwich Albion yesterday.

That figure could rise to £3.5 million subject to appearances and promotion and the Welsh international striker clearly intends to hit the ground running come Sunday's derby showdown.

“I'm buzzing and I'm really looking forward to it. And that's what I've come here to do - to play football and score goals.”

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Unfortunately he arrived just in time to watch his new colleagues be blown away 4-0 by a rampant Reading side who proved beyond doubt that they are far and away the best team in this division even if Norwich, in the shape of Earnshaw, are now the proud owners of one of the hottest individual talents in the Championship.

For that City may, in part, have to thank both Carl Robinson and Peter Thorne, both of whom gave the Canaries a glowing recommendation as the one-time Cardiff youngster looked to end his Hawthorns nightmare and huge falling out with Baggies' boss Bryan Robson.

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“I know a couple of boys here and they said it's a great place to come and play and, no, there's no pressure on me to be the next Dean Ashton.

“I don't know Dean personally and the fact that he's moved is nothing to do with me. I'm just here to help Norwich, to get them up and get them promoted.”

As for his first sight of his new team-mates in action, Earnshaw was happy to give Reading all the credit they deserved for extending their unbeaten run in the Championship to an incredible 30 games. “Reading are a good team - they're great. And you get these games in this division. You've just got to put it behind you and move on.”

Which neatly sums up his thoughts on West Bromwich Albion - though there was still time for the odd, dark dig at a fractured relationship between player and manager that led to yesterday's dramatic, eleventh hour switch. Indeed, as late as 7.30pm, Sky Sports were still reporting Earnshaw as being in the Baggies' squad for their trip to Charlton Athletic. Instead of heading south to The Valley he was, however, heading west out of London on the M4 with chief executive Neil Doncaster and club secretary Kevan Platt in tow.

“I didn't see eye to eye with the manager and I think I was treated very badly,” said Earnshaw, who slapped in two transfer requests this month - as well as that demand for his £3.5 million switch from Cardiff to West Bromwich Albion to be thoroughly investigated.

“I wasn't given a chance to impress and there were also things going on behind the scenes that I don't want to go into. But that's all behind me now.”

City boss Nigel Worthington will be swift to offer a spot of TLC after pulling off a transfer coup to match the arrival of first Darren Huckerby and then Dean Ashton. It certainly made up for last night's no show with the Canary chief accusing his players of cheating the travelling supporters out of their money following a performance lacking in the simple work-rate he craves.

“I'm just glad we sent all the documents through to the Football League before the end of the game,” said Worthington. “But I have to say I think it is a very good price for a very good player, whose quality is proven at this level.”

Earnshaw is certain to start Sunday's derby clash and with Worthington promising big changes after last night's no show, there could also be home debuts for loan signings Jonatan Johansson and Zesh Rehman. Throw in Youssef Safri's expected return from his African Cup of Nations adventure and it promises to be quite a morning.

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