Grant - Martin's time will come

Chris Martin's absence from Norwich City's starting line-ups is down to nothing more sinister than bad luck, according to manager Peter Grant.

Chris Martin's absence from Norwich City's starting line-ups is down to nothing more sinister than bad luck, according to manager Peter Grant.

The teenager was an instant hit last season when he was thrust into the spotlight following an injury to striker Robert Earnshaw. Martin responded with a string of eye-catching performances - and four goals in 13 league starts.

But the 18-year-old has appeared only one in the Championship this season - as a second-half sub at Wolves last weekend - and was an unused sub at Manchester City on Tuesday when fellow Academy products Michael Spillane and Rossi Jarvis grabbed all the headlines.

However, Grant says Martin's time will come.

“There is plenty of room for Chris - there is no doubt about his talent,” said Grant. “It is not the fact of somebody not playing well, sometimes it is the set-up of the team. We have had to manoeuvre the team with different setups because we have had injuries. The other night there you go with an extra body in the middle of the pitch because the centre halves have changed. I could have ended up with four strikers on the pitch and I can't change the system then - I have to make sure I pick the right team.

“Chris is waiting for his chance - there is no doubt he has got talent and he has a big, big part to play. And he will have a big part to play. It is not down to the fact that he is not doing well, it is down to the circumstances really.

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“Sometimes it is those circumstances that keep other boys out of the team; some boys are out of the team because the boys in front of them are playing well. Other guys are out of the team because they don't deserve to be in it because they are not playing well enough.

“They know that and understand it, they know I will change the team if I feel there is an appropriate game for which it has got to be changed.

“We all talk about having a stronger squad and a more balanced squad and that's what part of that is. If you have six strikers I don't think any of the six are the same types. Sometimes it can be the structure further down the midfield or midfield or whatever - whether you play two wide players. Are we good enough to play with two wide players at this moment in time? All that sort of thinking comes into it - do you play with one striker, do you play with two strikers? What type of strikers do you play with?

“At this moment in time Chris is very much in my thoughts to play - it is just getting him to play in the team. Sometimes circumstances dictated that he has been the one to miss out, unfortunately for him because it is not down to his performances.

“He has been training very well, and some of the things he has been doing in training have been excellent. But there is no doubt he in my mind and he will have a big part to play.”