Roeder’s shock bid for Earnie

Chris Lakey Glenn Roeder tried to tempt ex-Canaries hitman Robert Earnshaw into making a sensational return to Carrow Road. The City manager tried to persuade Derby boss Paul Jewell to allow Earnshaw to return to his old hunting ground for the rest of the season as he attempts to solve a chronic goal-scoring problem and stave off the threat of relegation for the second time since his arrival four months ago.

Chris Lakey

Glenn Roeder tried to tempt ex-Canaries hitman Robert Earnshaw into making a sensational return to Carrow Road.

The City manager tried to persuade Derby boss Paul Jewell to allow Earnshaw to return to his old hunting ground for the rest of the season as he attempts to solve a chronic goal-scoring problem and stave off the threat of relegation for the second time since his arrival four months ago.

However, according to reports in the Midlands, Roeder's plans were blocked by Jewell "because it was not in Derby's best interests".


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Roeder admitted last week that he was in the market for one, possibly two, loan strikers and on Wednesday signed Blackburn's Dutch Under-21 international Maceo Rigters for the rest of the season.

While Earnshaw has been linked with a loan move to his first club, Cardiff, on numerous occasions, a return to Carrow Road would have been a major coup for Roeder.

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Even though the Wales international has struggled to hold down a first team place at Derby since his £3.5m move from Norwich last summer, his Canaries record was excellent: in 41 starts he scored 27 goals.

City's inability to make an impression on the promotion race in the 2006-07 season led to his controversial departure, with Derby triggering a get-out clause in his contract that allowed him to leave for the same price as he cost the club.

It was a club record transfer fee for the Rams, but Earnshaw has struggled at Pride Park - his start against Manchester United on Saturday was only his fifth in the top flight and his only goal came in the 4-1 FA Cup home defeat by Preston.

Jewell has allowed seven Derby players to go out on loan, including five to Championship clubs - and hasn't written off the possibility of others departing before next Thursday's deadline.

"We have had some interest in some of our players, but have turned it down at the moment," he said. "I am aware we have not got the biggest squad and we have a lot of players out on loan but I am also aware I am planning for next season and if something comes up that interests us and might benefit us in the long term, I will do it. Any money I get in now or we save wages-wise will go towards next season. It goes into the pot for next season and I think that is vitally important.

"But unless someone comes in with something that is really interesting, I do not envisage anyone going out."

Earnshaw was axed from the Wales squad this week for the first time in six years, but insists he has improved markedly since leaving Norfolk.

"I believe I'm twice, three times a better player than I was at the start of the season because I've learned so much," he said. "When you play against one of the best teams in Manchester United as we did on Saturday (losing 1-0) and you push them to the limit, that's a measure of where you are.

"I've been very pleased with my performances in all the games in which I've started, and I'm very glad I've not let myself down.

"But I've learned a hell of a lot, and in games such as the one against United and against Manchester City a couple of weeks ago, I've showed what I'm about.

"So I've not been disappointed with myself, and I've not left the pitch thinking, ''maybe I could have done better'. I've done myself justice.

"I now need to try and play the rest of the season, to keep going and performing like I did against United and City. That's all I can do."

Asked whether he would be staying at Derby, he said: "We'll have a look at it, but things have to be right for me and the club.

"I just have to keep playing like I did against United and see what happens."

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