Late show specialist Martin keen for more

Chris LakeyChris Martin is making a habit of popping up with late goals - and he's not finished yet. The City striker bagged goal number 22 for the season with another excellent free-kick in the final minute on Saturday - a fortnight after a similar effort to claim a crucial three points against Leeds.Chris Lakey

Chris Martin is making a habit of popping up with late goals - and he's not finished yet.

The City striker bagged goal number 22 for the season with another excellent free-kick in the final minute on Saturday - a fortnight after a similar effort to claim a crucial three points against Leeds.

And with goalscoring partner-in-crime Grant Holt suspended for the next two games, all eyes will be on Martin, and that tremendous right foot.

"I always fancy myself to score a few," said Martin. "It's been a good season so far, but I'm not done yet."


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The responsibility sits comfortably with the 21-year-old, who says City can cope without their 30-goal striker at Leyton Orient tomorrow and Charlton on Saturday.

"We will wait and see which team goes out there on Tuesday night," he said. "I think we showed last time when Holty was out we dealt with it very well. We lost once out of three, won the other two - if we can do that it would possibly see us almost promoted.

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"He's missing for two games and we have got to deal with that and the team that goes out there on Tuesday has got to go and win the game."

Martin had been a league ever-present since last October, but manager Paul Lambert rested him against Leeds and Tranmere, before recalling him for the following two games.

"I want to start as many games as possible," he said. "The manager took me aside and thought I maybe needed a rest and it was fair play, because I had a little rest and came on in the game against Leeds and had another rest at Tranmere -not so much of a rest because I had to come on at half-time - but, yes, it's nice to start a few games.

"But I have been lucky this season with starting games. I've started a hell of a lot of games this season. Perhaps at the start of the season if you'd have said I would start as many as what I have done then I would have taken it. Hopefully I can continue in the side for the rest of the season."

So was Lambert right?

"Yes - I hope so," said Martin with a smile.

Ask him whether referee Kevin Friend was right to deny him a first-half 'goal' for fouling goalkeeper Willy Gueret as he went for Darel Russell's cross, and there is no trace of a smile.

"The referee has told me that I made an unfair challenge on the goalkeeper when all I really did was jump up in the air," he said.

"I think if you watch it again, and the lads have said it as well, everyone has said it, I have just jumped with them. There are two of them there with me. I don't quite know how he has come to the decision that I have fouled him.

"I thought it was the wrong decision, but the referee has seen it another way and we just have to get on with it.

"I don't think I got a touch. I think it just sailed right over. I was just in and around causing a nuisance, and that's exactly what I did, but he adjudged I had fouled him, which was dubious."

His reward finally came after Aaron Wilbraham was sent off for clipping Oli Johnson's heels - leaving Martin to plant a right-footer past Gueret's left-hand.

"I have practised a few this season and I've been luckily enough to score a few as well, and long may it continue," he said.

"I think Holty had a few chances - we definitely had enough chances to win the game and I was waiting I suppose for a long while to get a chance, I don't think I got too many, and luckily I got one there.

"I think the rest of the game was frustrating for most people involved and for the fans, but I enjoy scoring and hopefully that will turn out to be a good point.

"I still think there are a few frustrated lads in there - I was one of them - but that could turn out to be a crucial point. But we have got to realise that and recognise that and keep our heads up for the game on Tuesday and use that point and turn it into a positive one.

"That's all we can do because at the moment it is only a point, and with the future results we could get we could turn that into a very good point."

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