Proud Martin wants more action
Striker Chris Martin reported for his first training session as a Norwich City professional yesterday, insisting: “I don't need a rest.”The 18-year-old striker, who has just signed a 3½-year contract with the Canaries, admitted he was a “very proud man” to have moved into the ranks of the pros.
Striker Chris Martin reported for his first training session as a Norwich City professional yesterday, insisting: “I don't need a rest.”
The 18-year-old striker, who has just signed a 3½-year contract with the Canaries, admitted he was a “very proud man” to have moved into the ranks of the pros.
But while manager Peter Grant said he would like to have given Martin a rest after his hectic introduction to first-team football, the England Under-19 international is eager to keep playing.
He said: “I definitely want to be playing. I want to start every single game. I want to play as many as I can, so I've been happy playing all the games, to be honest.
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“My aim is to carry on playing and score as many as I can.”
Martin, with five goals in 13 senior outings since his debut as a substitute against Wolves in January, said there was never any doubt he would sign for City.
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He said: “I don't think there was ever any uncertainty from my point of view. I was always going to sign a contract. It was just a matter of getting the right deal and getting it all sorted out. It was just a matter of time.
“I'm a very proud man, delighted to have signed it and got it out of the way so I can concentrate on my football.
“I was in a very different position six months ago and it seemed quite far off, but I'm delighted.”
The players' union, in the person of deputy chief executive Mick McGuire, the former City captain, represented Martin in talks with the club. The deal he signed on Tuesday runs until 2010.
Grant said: “I'm happy that Chris is going to be here. With outsiders getting involved, you're always a little bit concerned because they don't really know the boy, they don't know the work that's gone into the boy. The only people that know that are his family and Chris himself.
“The contract is an excellent contract and he's deserved it.”
Asked if it was the best deal ever offered to a City player of Martin's age, Grant said: “It would not be far away, but it's not the monetary side - I don't think so personally. I think when you're signing contracts as a player, the money always come to you if you do the business.”
Grant said he didn't think the contract issue had distracted Martin, but admitted he had hoped to give him a break before now.
He said: “Ideally I would have liked to have rested him, but I've not had the personnel to be able to do that.
“He's been phenomenal but young boys always need a rest. I'm always loath to take goalscorers off because I always think people have got a goal in them. Last week at Colchester I'd have done it if we were winning because I thought he was looking heavy- legged, but I knew he'd had a bug, as three or four of them had last week. You could see that in his performance last week.
“I'd probably have taken him off and put young Kris Renton on, but it wasn't the scenario I wanted the boy to remember on his debut. I didn't want him to be remembering that performance.”
Martin, meanwhile, is confident City can atone for their 3-0 defeat at Colchester by winning at Hull tomorrow.
He said: “It's a very tough fixture. They're fighting down at the bottom of the league. But they're a good side and they've hit a good run of form, so it will be tough game for us but I think it's one that we can go and win.”