Earnshaw: Rest of the world is catching the UK

Robert Earnshaw on his Blackpool debut
Robert Earnshaw on his Blackpool debut
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Rob Earnshaw says the rest of the world has now caught up with English football.

Blackpool’s latest signing has spent the last two years overseas, playing in Israel and North America.

Having played at every level of English football, the former Wales international feels he’s well positioned to judge.

Earnshaw, who made his Pool debut in Tuesday’s defeat at Bolton, said: “People seem to think I had vanished off the face of the earth but I’ve been away playing in very good leagues.

“My team in Israel, Maccabi Tel Aviv, have done so well in the Europa League.

“I wanted to come back here and see what the level is like. You regard English football as a high level but the MLS has caught up now. I’ve benefited hugely by playing over in the States and Canada (with Toronto FC).

“The question I always get asked is about the standard, as if it should be lower over there.

“But looking at our game at Bolton and the one I watched against Huddersfield on Saturday, most (MLS) teams would compete with a lot of teams in the Championship, if not beat them.”

Earnshaw replaced Elliot Grandin for the final 20 minutes at Bolton and immediately had a good opportunity – Pool’s only effort on target in the whole match.

Earnshaw, who will be 33 in 10 days, said: “It was as soon as I came on but I couldn’t quite get the connection right. The ball just slipped off my boot.

“If I was 100 per cent, it was probably one of those chances I would have taken. If I get chances like that in every game, I’ll take them.”

Earnshaw admits he has to work on his fitness – the MLS season finished in December – but he is desperate to make his mark in Pool’s final eight games of the season.

“I feel refreshed now,” he said. “I am more confident and can see the game more clearly.

“The problem is I’ve only had three and a half days of football training in three months, so this is like the first week of pre-season for me.”

Pool remain 18th in the Championship but Earnshaw feels they will be fine. “There’s easily enough here for us to stay up,” he said.

“Hopefully I’ve added to the squad. I think we’ll get plenty of points between now and the end of the season.”

Tuesday’s defeat at Bolton means Pool have taken just one point from their last 11 away games in the Championship but boss Barry Ferguson remains positive.

He said: “On another day those chances will fly in. I went to Bolton with a different way of playing again and the boys took to it well. They are good pros and worked ever so hard again for me.”