Earnie's answer: 'Stop worrying!'
CHRIS LAKEY Canaries hot shot Robert Earnshaw has urged his team-mates to take a leaf out of his book - and play without a care in the world.
Canaries hot shot Robert Earnshaw has urged his team-mates to take a leaf out of his book - and play without a care in the world.
Earnshaw is oozing confidence after a year in which everything he has touched has turned to gold. The £3.75m striker has hit 16 goals this season and leads the chase for the Championship's Golden Boot award.
For the team it's a very different story - five games without a win and 17th in the table.
But Earnshaw believes that confidence holds the key - for players and fans alike.
“I think the way of going about playing football you have to try and be as confident as you possibly can going out there because once you are confident everything else starts to flow,” said Earnshaw. “You almost do things automatically and things happen for you.
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“I think that's where we have got to get ourselves, not so much thinking about where we are in the league or how our last game went. We have to focus on playing without a care in the world. That is the feeling we have got to get. I think we are good enough anyway, we know we are good enough as a team and that's what we have to focus on - letting things flow and just try and win the game. Do the good things right.”
Confidence - and playing football with a smile - has never been a problem for Earnshaw, helped in no small part by a goals tally that includes seven in the last nine, even though he drew a Boxing Day blank against Southend.
“Even after the other night it is still good,” he said. “You have to have that - one thing you must never do is let that go down. If you keep your level of confidence as high as possible, within yourself and mentally you are always going to be okay.
“If you hit a low you are still the same and you keep going because obviously things turn and you start going again.”
Earnshaw has been the busiest of all City players this season, with four internationals matches taking his tally to 29 for the campaign - but he's looking forward to a New Year programme which pits the Canaries against Queen's Park Rangers on Saturday and Crystal Palace away on Monday.
“I love the games when they come thick and fast because you train and train and train but then it comes to a game and it's completely different,” he said. “The games are what you want to be playing in, that's when it counts.
“And we have got to make it count this weekend because if we get two wins the confidence of everyone - fans and around the club - the atmosphere will change completely so that's what we have to do. We have to focus on that, two wins.”
Earnshaw came as close as anyone against Southend with a free-kick that fizzed narrowly past the post, but once again confidence is a key issue.
“Normally when we play a two up front that's when we get more free kicks,” he said. “We go six or seven games where we don't get free kicks anywhere near the box or whatever and we have to be better at getting things round the edge of their box. But you should never get too worried about things. That's when your focus goes, when you start getting worried about certain things, you have got to let it flow most of the time.”