Hard work starts now for Martin

It's been a year of firsts for Chris Martin - but the Canaries teenager believes the hard work starts now. Martin emerged from the Canaries youth and reserve teams at the end of January and made an immediate impact, with four goals in his first five league starts.

By CHRIS LAKEY

It's been a year of firsts for Chris Martin - but the Canaries teenager believes the hard work starts now.

Martin emerged from the Canaries youth and reserve teams at the end of January and made an immediate impact, with four goals in his first five league starts.

First appearances, first goals, first England Under-19 appearance - and a debut goal to boot - and this week on promotional duties as City unveiled their new away kit.

It's been a whirlwind, but just when everyone is looking forward to a summer break, the 18-year-old simply wants to keep going.

“I would have liked to carry on playing so it has come a little too early for me, but now the hard work starts and we will see what next season brings.

Most Read

“It has been unbelievable, the start I had was magic and hopefully I can carry it through on to next season.”

However, Martin does have some competitive action to look forward to, with England Under-19s facing European Championship qualifiers against Russia, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic in May.

“I will be looking forward to that rather than resting so I'd be happy to play,” he said. “I will be working on my fitness and everything else in the summer to come back stronger next season - and I want to be coming back with a starting place in mind as well so I'll be working very hard.”

Martin was drafted in as manager Peter Grant sought a replacement for the injured Robert Earnshaw, but the City striker is back after injury - and with reinforcements expected in the summer Martin knows there is no time for rest.

“I said at the time it would take a lot more hard work,” he said. “It was just a starting point getting into the team and now I have to make sure I work even harder perhaps to stay in the team and carry on playing.”

Martin came on as a sub in last weekend's East Anglian derby against Ipswich, although he could well be involved from the start against Southampton this afternoon.

“Obviously there is a little bit of something special about the derby,” he said. “For the fans it is a big game and there is a lot of pride at stake. It was nice to get my first one under my belt and hopefully it is the first of many.”

Next up is Southampton - and Martin says there is still plenty to fight for.

“It should be a very good match,” he said. “They are very a good side, and so are we on our day, so it should be tough and one we are looking forward to.

“We are not going to roll over for anyone. It might loom like we have nothing to play for, but I think everyone is playing for their places next year, so it is still an important match for everyone and we will give it 100pc.”