Earnshaw almost ready
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Cardiff City boss Lennie Lawrence fears Premiership clubs will come in for top scorer Robert Earnshaw in the summer, after the Welshman's stunning hat-trick against Scotland.
The impish striker was in devastating form for Wales in midweek as his treble contributed to a 4-0 thrashing of the Scots at The Millennium Stadium.
Earnshaw's international exploits are certain to have attracted fresh interest in his services from The Premiership.
He has scored 23 goals for The Bluebirds this season as well, although his form had suffered a lull prior to his dazzling international display.
Bluebirds chief Lawrence feels Earnshaw has not been proving he is capable of playing in the top flight during the past two months.
But Lawrence concedes if the 22-year-old maintains his Wales form for Cardiff, a step up to The Premiership could be in the pipeline in the summer.
"I said during last month's transfer window that Earnie wasn't ready for the Premier League," Lawrence told the club's website.
"We didn't get any bids for him in January and personally I wasn't surprised, although I'm sure some clubs were thinking about it.
"But Earnie scoring a hat-trick in an international is a massive step forward for him. If he continues to show that level of form and goalscoring ability for Cardiff, then it would be hard for me to maintain the stance that he's not ready for The Premiership.
"Nothing can happen until the summer. But in the summer, who knows?
"I said earlier in the season that Earnie was approaching the standard of a Premiership player.
"He has not met that standard in the last couple of months, but that hasn't entirely been his fault. The team's form dipped in December. But he took a giant step towards reaching that standard again on Wednesday."