Chris Martin has found a home from home at Derby after Norwich City exit
07:00 19 December 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Former Norwich City striker Chris Martin would love nothing better than to remind his old club what they are missing in Saturday’s televised Championship contest at Derby.
Martin fell out of favour at Carrow Road after a meteoric rise through the academy ranks during a 14-year spell that finally ended when he completed a permanent move to the Rams in May 2013.
The Beccles-bred frontman is relishing the prospect of a first reunion after establishing himself as a key man in Steve McClaren’s squad.
Martin is convinced Neil Adams’ men will be a big promotion rival despite a recent downturn following a strong start to the season.
“Norwich City have had an indifferent few months, but they are a side I expect to be up there come the end of the season,” he said. “There is a little added spice facing your old side, I am looking forward to it and hopefully I can get a goal or two on Saturday.
“I thought it was going to be difficult to cut my ties with Norwich but it went really smoothly because between the ages of 10 until 24 I only had one permanent club and I lived 20 minutes down the road. I probably would have stayed much longer if the stars had been aligned and everything went well. That wasn’t the case and that is football.
“I had to move on and I was very lucky another massive club like Derby picked me up. I could see a lot of similarities in terms of the support and the season ticket base and having the loan period allowed me to get to know the lads so I could hit the ground running.”
Martin plundered 25 goals in 52 appearances for the Rams in a first full season which ended in Championship play-off final heartache. The Scottish international attributes his immediate impact to the faith shown in him by Derby boss McClaren.
“He has been a great help to me and the squad. He wants to make us better and he says that is why he is in the game,”said Martin, speaking to BBC Radio Derby. “He has added bits to my game, given me that responsibility and the opportunity to express myself, and you sense there is a real belief in the players from the coaching staff. I’d never played in the one main striker role before coming to Derby but it seems to suit me. I enjoy the challenge and like having the responsibility to hold the ball up and knowthe team are relying on me to score the goals.
“That has been the case ever since I came to Derby. Something has just clicked here.”