Earnie almost quit Wales

Striker contemplated international retirement

Earnshaw: Back in the fold

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Robert Earnshaw has revealed how his time in the international wilderness saw him question his future.

A lack of goals and a slump in form during an ill-fated spell at Derby saw the striker regularly overlooked by Wales boss John Toshack.

He admits that being unable to represent his country became such a drag that he seriously considered quitting the international stage.

However, he refused to let the disappointment curb his judgement and, having rediscovered his touch in front of goal at Nottingham Forest this season, he is now looking forward to making a positive impact upon his return to the fold.

"That was the lowest point for me," Earnshaw told the Western Mail as he reflected on finding out about his original axing on television.

"Perhaps it was a little to do with having been so used to being involved after being in the squad from a young age.

Determined

"And especially as I was still in the Premier League - even though I wasn't at 100 per cent I felt I should have been there.

"It could have been a case of throwing my toys out of the pram and possibly retiring. And it did cross my mind, it was there in the back of my mind, a thought.

"But in the end, I sat there and watched the game on TV and it just didn't feel right not being there.

"I took a good long, hard look at it and the simple fact was I wanted to be back in the squad, I needed to.

"I wanted to be back out there as much as anything else and I knew I just had to go and play and everything would fall into place. And it has."

Ambition

Earnshaw is hoping to be involved in a crucial 2010 World Cup qualifying double-header against Finland and Germany, with the diminutive frontman adamant he can provide a cutting edge to Toshack's attack.

"When I have played for Wales things have been good for me," he said.

"Sometimes it's hard when you're off the bench for 10 minutes and you touch the ball twice or something, but when I have started games I've always felt I've done myself justice and scored a lot of goals. I mean, Germany next week just reminds me of my debut scoring the winner. I want to be doing that again and there's no reason why it can't.

"I want to play for Wales, I want to play every game and my ambition is to do well in this team - but also to do well as a team.

"Because undoubtedly we've got a good squad and that squad needs to be doing things, like getting within touching distance of qualifying for these tournaments.

"I'm no different to anyone else here in that respect, that's why I want to be playing."