City youngster spurred on by near-miss

CHRIS LAKEY Chris Martin says he will back himself to score the goals to help Norwich City climb out of the relegation zone. The teenage striker came within a fraction of ending City's goal drought just a minute after coming on as a sub against Scunthorpe on Tuesday.

CHRIS LAKEY

Chris Martin says he will back himself to score the goals to help Norwich City climb out of the relegation zone.

The teenage striker came within a fraction of ending City's goal drought just a minute after coming on as a sub against Scunthorpe on Tuesday.

Now he's hoping to get a second chance, at QPR on Monday night, as City seek to end a run of four league games without a goal.

“I'd back myself to score in any game I start,” said Martin, whose introduction in midweek brought one of the biggest cheers of the night from a frustrated home crowd.

That frustration soon transferred itself to Martin when took possession from a throw-in, turned and sent in a 25-yard shot that came back off the inside of keeper Joe Murphy's right-hand post.

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“As soon as it left my foot, I thought, hang on a minute, this could be in,” said Martin. “It was just unlucky, just the wrong side. An inch the other way and it could have been in. I was gutted. It would have been the perfect start for us and a great win if it had gone in. I think it was my second touch.

“It kind of sums up our season a little bit but hopefully the luck will start to turn.”

Martin made a stunning impact on first team football when he went from youth team striker to replacement for goal machine Robert Earnshaw in the space of a few short weeks at the beginning of the year.

Four of his five goals came in successive matches, but Martin hasn't started a Championship game this season - and he admits he'd hoped for more.

“I haven't had that many chances this season, so it was nice to get a bit of a run-out and I hope it can happen a bit more often,” said the 18-year-old from Beccles.

“It's been a little frustrating, but I've just got to keep working hard on the training pitch and see what the manager wants me to do and try to put that into games. Hopefully, I'll get more and more games to try to prove myself again.

“I think you've just got to take it in your stride and try to improve yourself day in, day out and then hopefully you'll be in contention for the team.

“I think I've picked up my form a little bit. I'm feeling sharp in training and I just want to get more chances.

“I had a great start last season and I thought I was doing well in the summer. It's been frustrating not to get back in the team because I thought I was ready.

“I felt sharp but I've just got to keep working hard, see what team the manager picks and, hopefully, I'm in it.”

Many feel Martin is the ideal player to end City's goal drought, despite his tender years and lack of experience - although the player himself believes his rivals for the striker's shirt are capable of turning things around.

“I think we just need to create more, to be perfectly honest,” he said. “I don't think we're creating too many chances and we've not had too many shots. If there's a bit more quality in the final third, goals are sure to come.

“I think we've got the quality in the squad to get a lot of goals so it is strange why it's not coming. We're still early in the season so I hope we can pick up our form and I'm sure we'll get goals."

Victory is essential if City are to climb out of the bottom three, although Martin believes that is just a matter of time.

“I don't think it matters too much at the moment,” he said. “Obviously, we don't want to be in there. It's not a nice place to be but I'm sure we'll find our way out of it soon.

“We've just got to try to put it on one side and focus on each game as it comes and start picking up the wins.

“I don't think we've lost too much confidence. With the performances, you are going to lose a little bit because we're not winning and we're in the bottom three but I think we can pick ourselves up and get ourselves out of it pretty soon.

“It's a big game but it's early in the season so can't really put too much on it.”