Martin can't wait to play with Earnie

JONATHAN REDHEAD Young Canaries striker Chris Martin says he cannot wait for Robert Earnshaw to return to full fitness as he is looking forward to forming a fruitful partnership with the Welsh international.


Young Canaries striker Chris Martin says he cannot wait for Robert Earnshaw to return to full fitness as he is looking forward to forming a fruitful partnership with the Welsh international.

It was Earnshaw's groin injury back in January which helped propel teenager Martin into the Norwich City first team squad.

Since then he has not looked back, scoring five times in 15 appearances in Earnshaw's absence and helped to City eventually ease away from the Coca-Cola Championship relegation trapdoor.

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But rather than worry that Earnshaw's possible return to action before the season is over could spell the end of his run in the first team, the 18-year-old is chomping at the bit to play with City's leading goalscorer.

Martin, who is a week into his first professional contract, feels the pair could hit it off and terrorise defences from August, by which time Earnshaw should be firing on all cylinders, and also help the teenager hit the net more often too.

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“I hope we'd make a good partnership,” Martin said. “We'd have to see if we play together but Earnie's a great player, a great goalscorer and I would love to play alongside him.

“It would be a great experience for me. I'd be very proud to play alongside him, he's a great player and I'm looking forward to the day when I can play alongside him.

“He's obviously a great goalscorer and he would create chances for me as well because defences are just so frightened of him. I trained with him a few times and he's obviously a great talent and I look forward to playing alongside him.”

Whether or not Earnshaw returns to action in a yellow and green shirt before the season is out, confident Martin has set himself a goalscoring target before heading off to finish his college studies and possibly play in England European Under-19 Championship qualifying campaign during the summer.

“Obviously I want to start every single game whether I will is another question, but I'm ready to start every game and I'll try to score as many goals as possible,” he said.

“We've got five games left so it would be nice to get perhaps three goals in the next five games I think that would be a sensible target to set myself.”

One of those five games in the derby clash with rivals Ipswich at Carrow Road on April 21. Should he be picked, it would be the Suffolk-born star's first senior derby against the Blues.

Martin missed out on the 3-1 thumping at Portman Road in November and says while the return game will be important for the Canaries players and their fans, it will not be about revenge - just finishing as high up in the table as possible.

“We just want to finish as high up the table as we can now,” he said. “They obviously beat us earlier on in the season and we have to try to win that game, but I don't think it is revenge or anything.

“Obviously it's been a disappointing season to date and that is something we can look forward to. It will be a good day for the fans but we just have to concentrate on all the games. It's not just one game we have to focus on, it's every game to try and get that consistency.

“We just see it as another game, it's obviously a big game because it's a derby, but we have to go into every game looking to win it.”

“All the lads are motivated to do well for themselves and obviously for the club as well so we're going to go out there and put 100 per cent into every single game and I don't think motivation will be a problem for anyone.”

While the majority of Peter Grant's squad will be able to relax at some time during, Martin will be hoping to be selected for international after making his England Under-19 debut last month and scoring the only goal in a win against Turkey.

“There's European Championship qualifiers over the summer which hopefully I can be involved in but we'll have to see and wait until the squads announced in late April time and then hopefully I'll be involved in that,” he said.

“I would be very proud. I was very proud when I got picked and came on to make my debut and it's a proud moment to play for your country and hopefully I'll get picked.”

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