Swans rise 'should inspire Cardiff' - Robert Earnshaw

Robert Earnshaw
Earnshaw believes Cardiff's discipline will improve under new boss Malky Mackay

Cardiff City's Robert Earnshaw says they must use arch-rivals Swansea City's rise to the Premier League as an inspiration in the new season.

Striker Earnshaw, 30, signed a two-year deal with Cardiff after his Nottingham Forest contract expired.

And he has returned to a club desperate to emulate the Swans' feat.

He said: "If your main rivals are playing higher than you, then you want to do even better."

Earnshaw scored a Forest goal that shook Swans' fans belief in their side's promotion bid in the semi-final play-offs.

That brought the score back to 2-1 after he had come on as a second-half substitute at Liberty Stadium.

But Darren Pratley ended Forest's hopes with a memorable late winner on that night in May.

Swansea went on to beat Reading 4-2 in the play-off final with the Royals having seen off the Bluebirds in their two-leg semi-final tie.

Earnshaw added: "They [Swansea] have done well, they've got to the Premier League and which is exactly where Cardiff have been trying to reach for the last probably eight or nine years.

"So there's been a lot of heartache for them as well in those times, so when Swansea - their biggest rivals - get to the Premier League, it's got to spur you on, it's got to give you that extra bit of determination because you want to be playing at the top level.

"You want your club playing at the top level and if your main rivals are playing higher than you, then you want to do even better.

That disappointment led to Dave Jones' days as manager ending and Malky Mackay - who would sign Earnshaw - taking over.

Earnshaw believes Cardiff are already being reinvented under Mackay and will return to the fray in August determined to make amends.

Earnshaw said: "Malky Mackay has made a big difference because he's going to bring discipline to the team and discipline to the whole squad and the whole club.

"Because I think at times Cardiff have been a little bit indisciplined over the last few years.

"But he's bringing a real determination that this team is going to work hard, this team is going to try and go places and I think that's what's going to try and help us get promoted.

"I think it's going to be a new Cardiff…it's a bit different for me. It's where I'm from, I've played for them before.

"But there's been a lot of players going to come in - and have come in - so it's going to be a new Cardiff, but hopefully an exciting one."

Youth team product Earnshaw scored 105 goals in 205 games during his first spell with Cardiff, before a big money move to West Bromwich Albion in 2004.

Spells at Norwich, Derby and Forest followed before the striker returned to south Wales on 8 July, 2011.

Several key players have left during the summer including Craig Bellamy, who has returned from a season-long loan spell to Manchester City.

Michael Chopra and Chris Burke and Jay Bothroyd have also left, but Earnshaw has faith in a new-look side that includes Andrew Taylor, Don Cowie, Craig Conway, Filip Kiss, Joe Mason and Aron Gunnarsson.

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