Downs is a big fan of swashbuckling Russell Martin
Russell Martin could rapidly climb the list of Norwich City’s top goalscoring full-backs if he maintains his current strike rate.
The man of the moment bagged his fourth goal of the season with the last-minute equaliser that earned a point against Cardiff City at Carrow Road on Saturday.
After getting off the mark in the 3-1 Championship defeat at Doncaster in September, 25-year-old Martin has struck three more times in the last 11 matches and at his present rate of progress, he is on course to join a select band of Canary full-backs who proved there was more to their job than keeping the opposing winger quiet.
Former Wales international Mark Bowen comfortably heads the list with 27 goals from full-back in his 399 games – including only one penalty – while Kevin Bond scored 14 times in 161 games, but seven were spot-kicks.
Greg Downs, who scored eight times in open play for City as an attacking left-back in the 1980s, is a big admirer of right-back Martin.
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He said: “He’s the player who has impressed me most this season with his all-round play.
“I think he has been Paul Lambert’s best signing, the way he has come on, and he’s kept himself fit which is important when there has been no cover at right-back.
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“I like the way he gets forward and the way Norwich play helps him do that. The diamond formation encourages full-backs to get forward because there are no out-and-out wingers so the space is there for them to exploit.
“And because Norwich keep possession so well it allows him to stay around the box when they attack and when the ball comes back out again, he’s there to take advantage, just as he was when he scored against Queens Park Rangers.”
Some of City’s full-backs scored most of their career goals from other positions.
Said Downs: “I got about 25 in my career as a full-back, and I remember John Ryan getting 16 in one season at Norwich. But that was after he was moved into midfield.”
• NORWICH CITY’S GOALSCORING FULL-BACKS
Mark Bowen 27 goals (1 pen)
Kevin Bond 14 goals (7 pens)
Darren Kenton 9 goals
Greg Downs 8 goals
*John Ryan 7 goals (2 pens)
* Ryan scored 29 goals for City, but mostly from midfield.