Martin aims to prove his worth

CHRIS LAKEY Chris Martin has caught the eye of new City boss Glenn Roeder - and now he wants a run in the Canaries first team to prove that the potential he showed last season was no flash in the pan.

CHRIS LAKEY

Chris Martin has caught the eye of new City boss Glenn Roeder - and now he wants a run in the Canaries first team to prove that the potential he showed last season was no flash in the pan.

The teenage striker hit the back pages last January when he stepped into the breach following the long-term injury to Robert Earnshaw, scoring four goals in four consecutive Championship games and, with Darren Huckerby, helping to extricate City from a tight spot at the wrong end of the table.

The 19-year-old from Beccles has started just two games this season, but his appearances as a second-half sub was his first under Roeder - and he's hoping there's more to come.

“It would mean a lot - obviously I would be able to perhaps prove myself to the new manager,” he said. “I have not played as much as I would like this season so I want to get a run of games. I think it is important for a striker as well to get that sharpness back through having a run in the team.

“I think we have played a lot of different combinations all over the pitch, maybe because of injuries. I think it is important to get a run and get a settled side possibly so people are used to playing with each other and then you can start to gel better.”

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Martin will definitely feature at Plymouth this afternoon, perhaps as a strike partner for Jamie Cureton in the absence of the injured Dion Dublin and the departed John Hartson.

Roeder looked what he saw on Tuesday, but says Martin, and fellow teenager Michael Spillane, need to put in extra work to improve themselves physically and technically.

Martin was a useful swimmer in his school days, winning relay gold for Waveney in Suffolk Championships, and has the physique to prove it, but says he will be taking his manager's advice and going the extra mile.

“If it means it is going to improve me and I am going to keep on getting better and hopefully selected for the team then I think it is important for me to do it,” he said.

“It is not just the young players, it is important for all the players in the team to do it as well and keep on improving, but obviously it is more vital for the younger players to do it.

“A team like Watford are big, powerful and strong and that is a big part of their game, strength is a massive part of the Championship - you come up against some big strong lads so it is quite important for people to work on their strengths. It has a big part to play.”

The intention is to keep in the manager's mind as well as his squad, but it's not exclusive to the younger players.

“I think most players if they look at themselves could possibly do that little bit extra and it is just a case of trying to force yourself to do it and admitting to yourself that you can get better and if you stay behind you obviously will,” added Martin. “It is in your head quite a lot - you have to admit to yourself you can do that extra bit and sometimes people don't like admitting it to themselves.

“I think psychologically it is massive, but as soon as you get your head around that you'll be fine. And if you start getting that confidence and you feel that you are improving then obviously it will transfer on to the pitch.”

Martin also believes he has a good teacher in Roeder.

“I think he can help me a lot,” he said. “He has worked with a lot of top players who have gone on to bigger and better things, so hopefully he can do the same with me and hopefully I can keep on improving and playing in the team regularly.”