Martin loves extra pressure

Chris LakeyChris Martin bagged goal number 23 for the season, helped create the other two - and admitted he loves the responsibility of leading the attack when Grant Holt is absent.Chris Lakey

Chris Martin bagged goal number 23 for the season, helped create the other two - and admitted he loves the responsibility of leading the attack when Grant Holt is absent.

Holt's 30-goal season was ended by ankle surgery last week, but Martin ensured he was hardly missed with a mature and quality performance at the Memorial Stadium as City finished their away day programme in impressive style.

Martin has matured since his return from a season-long loan at Luton, and City are benefitting.

'I think I approach every game the same -it's an old clich�,' he said.

'I don't mind any responsibility and I am confident in my own ability, which I think is important and manager has given me the belief by picking me each week.

'I go out there with the mindset that I am confident and can do a good job out there and hopefully I've been doing that enough times this season.

Most Read

'Every player is going to miss someone like Holty, but today I think we showed as a team we can play without him as well.

'It's not just a one-man team - no one ever thought that anyway. Holty has been fantastic for us this year, but today we showed we can play with some of the reserve players or some who haven't played as many games, that they are as good as players who have been playing and they have been pushing them all the way this season.'

'They are still hungry to play some games and to try and impress the manager.

'A few of them haven't played a lot of games this year and they are still hungry, which works in our favour also, because that makes sure we're not going to take our foot off the pedal if we have players like that in the team.

'But I don't think that was ever going to be the case. We showed good professionalism coming down here today and played some very good football at times as well.'

The match was a reflection not just of Martin's own season, but of City's, with a professional streak that immediately wiped out any suggestions that the players would take things easily now that the job was done.

'We have had a good record away from home this season and I think we showed it today,' Martin said.

'It was a bit of a funny one going into it because both teams were done and dusted for the season, both have accomplished what they were going to, but I think we went into it with the right attitude, and so did they, and it has turned out to be a half decent game.

'The manager obviously wants to win as many games as possible and so do we. We always want to win every game that we go out for, whether we are already promoted or not, and we showed a good attitude today, we showed the right attitude. We got about them early, got amongst them, pressed them high up the pitch and I think we got our rewards.

'We could have scored a few more, we played very well, we had some good attacking moves and that is a credit to us for showing that professionalism and getting the job done.'

Martin opened the scoring on 31 minutes, slotting home with his left foot from Anthony McNamee's neat pass after intercepting a wayward pass. He was involved in the move that saw Oli Johnson score, flicking no Fraser Forster's goal kick, and then provided the square ball for Stephen Hughes to make it 3-0 on 68 minutes.

A good afternoon's work also involved another long-range effort: after last week's long drifter against Gillingham, Martin tried the low approach, rifling one from just inside his own half, but failing to catch keeper Mikkel Andersen off guard.

'I had a try last week and it didn't really come off,' he said. 'I think last week was a better opportunity possibly, it was a bit further out. I spoke to a couple of the lads about it, joking around, and, yes, it would be nice to score a long-range one, but I think it's wishful thinking to be perfectly honest.

'We came out here and showed the right attitude, but why not try and enjoy it? These are the games that you can do it in.

'You are not really getting too many other times to try and do that when you have a long, hard slog like we had this season, and when the game comes along you have got to enjoy it and we definitely did that today.'

One game remaining, one more game for Martin to lead from the front - but what if he is faced with the dilemma of turning down a scoring opportunity and trying to set up Simon Lappin, who has yet to score this season?

'I might do - it depends how I'm feeling,' said Martin, with a smile. 'I let him have a little free-kick today. A few people are talking about it, but he's just getting on with the game.

'It doesn't matter to us that he hasn't scored, he has put in a massive contribution without scoring - but I think it would be nice for him to get a goal.'