Martin wants a shot at Chelsea
JONATHAN REDHEAD Norwich City youngster Chris Martin said his first strike for the club was “pretty special” and revealed he now fancies bagging a starting place against Premiership champions Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round.
Norwich City youngster Chris Martin said his first strike for the club was “pretty special” and revealed he now fancies bagging a starting place against Premiership champions Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round.
Martin's left-foot strike from just inside the box settled a topsy-turvy Carrow Road cup tie against Blackpool with under ten minutes remaining of extra time after Darren Huckerby had hauled City back into the game with a couple of wonder goals.
After coming on as a substitute, the 18-year-old from Beccles was on hand to turn home a loose ball to send the City faithful into raptures and hand the club a daunting trip down to Stamford Bridge on Saturday to take on the might of Jose Mourinho's men.
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And Academy trainee Martin admitted the prospect of taking on the West London blues was probably playing on the back of every City player's mind as they went a goal down and struggled to get into the game.
“I think everyone knew it was Chelsea and it was in the back of everyone's minds but we were focussed on the game and we all put 100 per cent in and got the win we deserved, I think,” he said.
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Although his goal was by no means a classic, it still meant the world to the teenager who had earlier seen a goal mysteriously disallowed by referee Andre Marriner as he headed home a Youssef Safri free-kick.
“It was pretty special,” he said. “The fans were going mental as well and it's special to get the winner and put us through to play Chelsea in the next round.
“It was a little bit scrappy but I reacted quickly and just poked my left leg onto it and luckily it just rolled in. I got the one disallowed as well which was a little frustrating but I just had to bide my time and luckily I got another chance at it.
“They (Chelsea) have some of the best players in the world so it will be special. Obviously, I fancy starting it but we'll see on Saturday.
Peter Grant's decision to introduce Martin an hour into the game changed the cup tie as it appeared to be drifting away from City.
They were a goal down and heading out, but Martin partnered Chris Brown up front and Huckerby moved back to his left flank role from where he cut Blackpool apart.
“We went behind, but it was good to come on and change the game a little bit,” Martin said. “We got the equaliser and went 2-1 up and were in a comfortable position I think and unluckily they got another goal back from a set-piece but it was nice to get a winner and celebrate it.
“I think we were a bit sloppy and our passing wasn't as crisp as it was later in the game. We all worked hard and it's good to get the win.”
The forward also paid tribute to Huckerby's two blockbusting strikes which hauled City back into the game, the first from fully 25 yards into the top corner while the second also unerringly found the corner from just inside the box five minutes into extra time.
“They were a bit special weren't they?” he said.
“He picked out the top corner with both and without them we wouldn't be in the position to get the winner.”