Norwich City striker Chris Martin’s chance to prove a point
Striker Chris Martin will get another chance to re-ignite his Norwich City first team career in tonight's Capital One Cup tie against Scunthorpe United.
The 23-year-old looks set to start the second round match at Carrow Road (7.45pm) after the briefest of outings as a substitute in Saturday's Premier League draw at home to Queens Park Rangers.
That late run-out was only the fifth time Martin has appeared in the senior side in the past 18 months. He missed the final three months of the Canaries' 2010-11 promotion campaign with injury and played only four times in the top flight last season before a long spell on loan to Championship club Crystal Palace.
As Chris Hughton's men prepare to face Scunthorpe, who are bottom of League One after three defeats, Martin knows his chances to impress the new manager may be limited unless he starts knocking in the goals again.
Hughton has already offloaded one of his strike force with James Vaughan joining Huddersfield on a season-long loan, and is still hoping to add to his attacking firepower before the transfer window closes on Friday.
'I have to wait and see as the season pans out,' said Martin. 'All I can do is take every chance that comes my way and let the manager make the decision after that. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. If it does, it's a bonus.'
Despite his long absence from the senior reckoning, Martin has a very respectable strike rate for City with 34 goals in 115 senior outings.
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'I think I have a one-in-three scoring record for Norwich so if that continues I'll be happy,' he said.
'Nothing really changes from my point of view. I've just got to out there and play my best in every single game. If that's good enough, then brilliant.'
Hughton is the sixth different first team manager Martin has played under at Norwich. It was in the League Cup competition in September 2006 that Nigel Worthington first named him as a substitute for a second round tie at Rotherham, managed at the time by current Scunthorpe boss Alan Knill.
City won 4-2 but Martin stayed on the bench and had to wait a further four months before Peter Grant gave him his first senior outing. He scored five times in his first seven appearances but was quickly discarded by Glenn Roeder and played only briefly under Bryan Gunn before thriving under Paul Lambert, especially in the League One title-winning season. Now Hughton is the man to impress.
'One of the things I've noticed is he seems to be fair, he's given everyone a chance. There is no one who has been banished to the reserves or the youth team or anything like that,' said Martin.
'He's told us it's all going to be fair and everyone's going to get a shot at it. That's all you can ask for. After that, the job's down to you and whether you can be good enough for him and whether you're what he's looking for.'
City, twice League Cup winners, have not reached the third round of the competition since 2007 and have not made the quarter-finals since 1996.
Martin, however, went a great deal closer to the final than the Canaries as a member of the Palace side beaten over two legs by Cardiff in last season's semi-finals. He had been substituted in the second leg before the Eagles – who had won at Manchester United in the quarter-finals – lost 3-1 on penalties.
He said: 'It was nice to be involved in the semi-final with Palace last year, unfortunately on the wrong end of a penalty defeat, which is always a bit heart-wrenching.
'They did all the hard work then I got there and lost the game for them, unfortunately.
'But there are always upsets in every single round. You have to be wary of that, of course.'
Scunthorpe have had a desperate start to their League One campaign, at odds with their first round triumph at Derby, when they won on penalties after a remarkable 5-5 draw.
'We've just seen clips of them in the Derby game and they looked a very good side so you've always got to be aware of the threat they're going to pose,' said Martin. 'But we need to concentrate on what we're going to do and see how we're going to play and be confident in the shape we're going to play in. You have to be wary of what teams bring but you can't concentrate on them too much.
'It's going to be their cup final, I suppose. It's all or nothing for them. We have everything to lose, they have nothing to lose. That's the beauty of the cup competition and that's what it brings.'