Chris Martin proves own worst critic

Chris Lakey Chris Martin believes City produced 'one of the best performances' he's played in for a long time, but was still a disappointed man as he left the City Ground on Saturday.

Chris Lakey

Chris Martin believes City produced “one of the best performances” he's played in for a long time, but was still a disappointed man as he left the City Ground on Saturday.

Martin hit the woodwork twice in the space of a minute early on, curled one just wide and set up the equaliser for Andrew Crofts - usually enough to keep a young striker happy.

But while Martin's early advances helped set the theme for City's afternoon, the fact he didn't score clearly rankled as he dissected the game.

A long-range free-kick went around Forest's defensive wall and hit the bottom of Lee Camp's left-hand post, but it was the first effort, when he took advantage of a swift City break, left Kelvin Wilson in his wake and curled a shot past Camp and against the angle of bar and post, that proved most annoying.

“I think I would have backed myself to score that pretty much every time I have that opportunity,” said Martin.

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“I was very disappointed with that one. I hit it well - as soon as I hit it I thought it was in, but it just cannoned off the woodwork.

“The second one, the free-kick, I just saw a little gap around the wall where I could bend it, but I didn't bend it quite enough.

“I think that gave us the start we needed and the encouragement we needed to go and play well and that's what we did.

“I was frustrated I didn't score myself and get three points for the team, which I think I should have done.

“I was just disappointed with the two that hit the woodwork. I should have done better, but I think we should take the positives from the game and use this point that we have earned here and make it a good one by winning more and going unbeaten.”

While Martin may have been disappointed, the overall theme of his post-match analysis was clearly positive: building on the performance and using it as a platform for garnering more points.

“We knew what was required before the game and the lads definitely delivered and we definitely deserved to win the game,” he said. “They did very, very well last year - they haven't started as well as perhaps they would have liked this year, but that doesn't mean they are not as good as they were last year. There is a long way to go - we know they are a good side, but we also know today we have proved we can handle it, against a team like them.

“That is important and we can use the positives from today. It is a bit disappointing possibly going away with only a point because we feel we could have got all three today with the chances we created, but we need to take a positive look on things today, especially coming away to a team like Forest who almost got promoted automatically last year and we need to use this as a good point and go on an unbeaten run.”

Martin believes the penalty that enabled Forest to go ahead, when Russell Martin fouled Paul Anderson, was a case of referee Scott Mathieson “evening up” matters after incorrectly turning down a claim five minutes earlier for Leon Barnett's tackle on Dexter Blackstock.

“It wasn't a penalty,” he said. “To be perfectly honest I think the referee tried to even it up. He missed the first one which perhaps was a penalty.

“He shouldn't choose to even it up just because he possibly missed one that was a penalty - it doesn't mean he should give one that isn't a penalty, that's not the right thing to do.

“But I think we came back from it very well. We got a goal pretty quickly afterwards and after that - even before that - I think we were a better team.”

Martin played his part in the goal, getting his head to Andrew Surman's free-kick and, at the second attempt, managing to flick it back towards a team-mate.

“I was just trying to help it back into the danger area really,” he said. “I tried to get the first flick, but it ballooned up into the air. I should have done better with the first one really, but I just managed to get to the other one, flicked it back and Crofty hooked it goalwards and luckily it went in and we built from there.

“I think we built on the good start we had.”