martin keen to explore fresh roles

CHRIS LAKEY Teenager Chris Martin has emerged as a major candidate to fill one of the gaps that injuries have created in Norwich City's midfield. The teenager made his name as a striker last season when he stepped into the boots vacated by the injury to Robert Earnshaw.

CHRIS LAKEY

Teenager Chris Martin has emerged as a major candidate to fill one of the gaps that injuries have created in Norwich City's midfield.

The teenager made his name as a striker last season when he stepped into the boots vacated by the injury to Robert Earnshaw.

But a pre-season friendly against West Ham and Tuesday's reserve team performance against Luton proved that Martin has more to his game than just scoring goals.

Martin is champing at the bit for a chance to prove it - and could find himself in Peter Grant's plans at Hull tomorrow.

“I would be happy to play anywhere,” said Martin. “I wouldn't mind to be honest - as long as I am on that pitch and I am starting I will play anywhere.

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“I have played there a few times before, but didn't find it too difficult.”

Martin is confident he can play in a flat midfield four.

“I think I can do it, I think I would be comfortable with it - like I said I would be happy to play anywhere,” he said. “It is obviously a different position for me and it would be tough, but I would be happy to fill it.”

Grant maybe prefers Martin in the hole behind the front two - a role he performed impressively against West Ham - but admits he might have to change his formation to accommodate the youngster.

“I would probably have to change the system in certain aspects of the team, which I have no qualms with because one of the reasons I have got the team together that we have now was for that particular reason - because I would be able to change the system with the personnel on the pitch or the people I can pick prior to the game,” said Grant. “I would love the full complement of players to be able to do that. I looked at last year and I felt we were very one-dimensional, we could only play a certain way and that is something we have got to change a little bit.”

Martin said: “I enjoy playing there - sometimes in some games you can't really play there because the teams are so compact, so tight, so in some games it is not going to work, but yes, it is a good position for me.”

Martin scored five goals last season - all in his first nine appearances - as he emerged on to the Championship scene with a bang. The role of striker is one he admits he prefers - but having failed to feature in the two Championship squads that Grant has selected this season, it's a case of answering the call wherever it takes him.

“It has been disappointing, I wouldn't say it has been difficult not to be involved, but obviously I have got to keep working hard in training and in games, like the other night in the reserves and hopefully the manager sees enough to put me in the team,” he said.

“I think we have strengthened a lot and we have brought some quality players in and I have got to work extra hard to get back into the team rather than last year when we had quite a depleted squad and I was kind of forced into the squad if you like.”

Martin, who came on as a sub in the Carling Cup win over Barnet, has been forced to watch the Championship games from the touchlines - but can see the difference between now and the last time City played Hull away - a game he was rested for.

“I think we have come through two physical tests already this season and we have got four points from the games so I think it is no worry for the squad,” he said. “Up at Preston we seemed to have a bit of steel about us that perhaps was lacking last year and we have a bit of fight and determination in the squad so I think we are going to be a lot tougher to beat.”