Earnshaw wants to take City to the Premiership
CHRIS LAKEY Robert Earnshaw has given a clear picture of how he sees the future - and it's yellow and green and lives in the Premiership.
Robert Earnshaw has given a clear picture of how he sees the future - and it's yellow and green and lives in the Premiership.
The Canaries hot-shot finished the season as the club's joint leading Championship scorer, with eight goals in just 13 starts following his January arrival from West Brom, where he was deemed not up to scratch for the top flight.
Now Earnshaw is desperate for a chance to prove the doubters wrong - and says Carrow Road is the place to relaunch his, and City's, ambitions.
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"I want to be playing in the Premier League, it's as simple as that," he said. "I enjoyed the games I played and the goals, it was brilliant, so I want that again.
"That's why I came here.
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"I want to be taking this club to the Premier League, that's all I am looking for, that's my ambition. I want to be playing in the Premier League and just do as well as possible."
Earnshaw's goal ratio would suggest that Baggies manager Bryan Robson got his maths wrong, but the Welsh international craved regular first-team football - and his wish was granted when Nigel Worthington shelled out almost £3m for his services.
"The main thing was really just playing," said the 25-year-old. "If I played everything else would follow, that's all I ever think of, playing football. To be fair it's been brilliant because some of the boys have created some great chances for me to score so I never forget them and hopefully next year I will get even more."
While Earnshaw doesn't reveal his goal targets - "I just want to score as many as possible" - he admits to being satisfied with his Norwich City haul to date.
"I am more than happy with the amount of goals I have got so far, delighted with it," he said. "It's the joy of scoring goals, that's it."
Earnshaw is clearly much happier than in his final weeks at The Hawthorns, where he had a very public falling-out with Robson, but he takes no joy from West Brom's Premiership relegation - and refuses to speculate on their fate had he stayed.
"I don't want to go into that," he said. "I left there in January and I am a Norwich City player and happy about it as well.
"It's all in the past. If I was there I would have been disappointed, but I was not there, I have to think of Norwich City and where we are going. I have moved on from all that. I am disappointed for some of the boys who are there because I speak to some of them all the time. But that's how it goes, someone has to go down."
Earnshaw finished off the season with a goal, albeit not enough to haul City back into the Bank Holiday Monday game against Wolves, but there were further signs that he has settled into the team. And while the strike force wasn't big on height and strength, it was big on promise, with Earnshaw linking well with Paul McVeigh and Leon McKenzie.
"Paul McVeigh - he's brilliant because he's clever," said Earnshaw. "I know every time he gets the ball he's got the ability to either go past players or put a great ball in for me to score so it's easy enough.
"There were some good things in the first half against Wolves with him, and with Leon as well. We combined well together, it's easy enough to play with both of them.
"I thought we probably played better than in some of the other games we've won, but that's how it goes sometimes. Some of the other games we haven't passed the ball as well and we've gone on and got some goals and won the game. On another day we would probably go on to win 3-2 maybe 4-2. We had enough chances."
The plan now is to take time off and be ready for August.
"The manager said to us we have got to be hungry, that's what we are," said Earnshaw. "We want to do well all the time. We have to be hungry and want it and come back wanting to do extra well and work just as hard."
Earnshaw's summer is likely to be interrupted by an international training camp trip to Spain when he hopes to move himself back up Wales' pecking order.
The strike admitted one of the reasons he joined Norwich was to re-establish himself in manager John Toshack's team in time for the start of the Euro 2008 qualifiers in September - and he did his cause no harm when he scored the goal that beta former cxlub Cardiff in front of Toshack 10 days ago.
Toshack is due to name his squad for games against a Basque Country XI in Bilbao on May 20 and England's World Cup group opponents Trinidad & Tobago a week later in Graz, Austria on Thursday.
And Earnshaw wants to take the chance to impress his international manager.
"It's a great idea because we would have gone months without meeting up and working on the things we need to before the qualifiers begin again," said Earnshaw. "The manager will be there with us day to day so we can get to know exactly what he wants from us and work on the way he wants us to play ready for the next campaign."
Toshack has preferred Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and former Canary Craig Bellamy in attack in recent games, but Earnshaw is hoping Giggs midfield talents will open the door for his return to the starting line-up.
"There's been a bit of competition for places with Wales," he said. "But with Ryan playing midfield for United perhaps it could open something up for me with Wales.
"I think I've shown I've bounced back this season because I'm playing regularly and scoring goals."