Norwich face Forest side on the up - Earnshaw

Michael Bailey Robert Earnshaw has warned his former club they will face a side on the up when they travel to the City Ground tomorrow to face Nottingham Forest in front of the Sky TV cameras.

Michael Bailey

Robert Earnshaw has warned his former club they will face a side on the up when they travel to the City Ground tomorrow to face Nottingham Forest in front of the Sky TV cameras.

The 27-year-old Wales international has enjoyed a frustrating couple of months as niggling injuries have prevented him from adding to the early season form that saw him hit five goals in Forest's first seven matches.

But the former Norwich favourite is expecting to be back in time for tomorrow's Championship encounter and with Forest having lost just once in six matches, Earnshaw believes his side are better than their current lowly position in the table.

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“Only two or three of our squad have played at this level before, so it was always going to be a case of seeing what it's like and learning. But in the last three games, we are showing we are making progress,” said Earnshaw, who admitted his surprise at seeing his current and former employers struggling at the wrong end of the table.

In fact both could conceivably be in the Championship relegation zone come tomorrow's late kick-off (5.20pm).

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“It is a surprise, but obviously with the new manager coming in and signing quite a few players, Norwich will be wanting to be nowhere near that at the end of the season,” said the Welshman. “On our side, I expected probably a bit more from us but we have got a lot of young players, probably a younger squad than Norwich.

“Norwich is a very good team and they should be higher, and we are showing an improvement, so hopefully both clubs won't be anywhere near that at the end of the season.”

On the whole, things at Forest have been going well Earnshaw, who is convinced the club is on the verge of better times - and what better way to prove that than in front of the TV cameras?

“It's a good club and it feels like it is inches away from doing really well,” said Earnshaw. “Saturday is a chance for everyone to have a look at your team and we've tended to play well in front of the cameras. We want to put on a good show and send a message out to the rest of the league. It's a chance to put a different perspective on a team and see they should be higher than where they are in the league. Hopefully a lot of people can take that from Saturday.”

But the Welshman's selection for tomorrow is reliant on the striker coming through training today, after hamstring and lately a calf injury disrupted his early-season form.

“We started off really well the first few games of the season and then in the last month I've picked up a couple of injuries,” said Earnshaw. “It's horrible being injured so when you're fit again you are happy. I was flying before so I'm hoping to play, as long as training goes well and there is no reoccurrence of the injury.”

Norwich's away form since promotion to the Premier League in 2004 has been awful, averaging one win for every five games away from home. And with a trip to a side promoted from League One last season, Earnshaw hope that poor form continues.

“From our point of view, I hope it's the case. We are desperate for a win,” said Earnshaw. “We tend to do very well at home, but it's going to be a tough game because there will be two sides desperate for a win and the thing is, everyone beats everyone in this league.

“Hopefully it's a good game and a win for my team - but I have half an eye out for Norwich so I'm hoping they do well, only after Saturday.”

Tomorrow's game will be the first time the Zambia-born forward has come up against his former club since leaving Carrow Road for £3.5million barely a season ago, to join Derby County's ill-fated return to the top flight last season.

But the striker believes his record at Carrow Road - 27 goals in 41 league starts - will see him given a good reception from the Norwich faithful.

“I am looking forward to it. I've got fond memories of my time at Norwich. I really had a great time,” said Earnshaw, who admitted he had thought about what kind of reception he might get from the City fans.

“I have and I don't think it will be anything bad to be honest, because of my success there and I think the fans enjoyed my time there as much as me. I think it will be very good. I've always had a good reception from my old clubs, so I can't see anything different from them.”

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