Earnshaw eager to impress
Robert Earnshaw insists Wales have no intention of treating their clash with Rep of Ireland as a 'friendly'.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 06/02/11 9:17pm
Robert Earnshaw insists Wales have no intention of treating their clash with Republic of Ireland as a 'friendly'.
Gary Speed will take charge of Wales for the first time in Dublin on Tuesday, having inherited the reins from John Toshack.
With a new man at the helm the Dragons will be aiming to impress in the opening encounter of the Carling Nations Cup, with all of those included in the squad keen to make a positive first impression.
That includes Nottingham Forest striker Earnshaw, with the 29-year-old of the opinion that no-one will be taking the game lightly.
He accepts that Wales have flattered to deceive of late, slipping to 116th in the Fifa world rankings, but is confident that Speed can help to usher in an exciting new era.
"For me it's no friendly," said the 51-cap frontman.
"It's a huge game. We are going there with a freshness about the camp as Gary has taken over and everyone wants to do well for the new manager and that can have a big effect.
"We want to win, the Republic are a good side and if we can beat them on their own ground then we can make a statement for ourselves and gain some confidence.
"There is something on this game. It's not a friendly where you know there will be 10 subs, we want to win because there is a trophy at the end of it and we want to progress as a team. If we win it will be a huge bonus for us.
"I am looking forward to working with Gary, I played alongside him when he was my captain and his experience at the highest level can bring a freshness to the camp and make it a new era for Welsh football.
"It won't happen overnight, but I think it's going to be a positive few years for us."