Two-goal Martin stakes a claim

Jonathan Redhead Norwich City 3, Wigan 2Two-goal Chris Martin, from Beccles, hopes he has played his way into Norwich City's starting line-up for next week - but is not counting taking anything for granted.

Jonathan Redhead

Norwich City 3, Wigan 2

Two-goal Chris Martin hopes he has played his way into Norwich City's starting line-up for next week - but is not counting taking anything for granted.

The 20-year-old thrilled the Carrow Road crowd with a brace from his position on the left wing as the Canaries came from behind twice for a good, morale-boosting victory against Premier League Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

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But despite his goals, Martin, who spent last season out on loan at Luton Town, is not taking his place in the starting XI for the match against Colchester United for granted when League One gets underway next Saturday.

“Obviously, I was very happy to score but I think more importantly the team won and it's a big boost for us and our morale as well going into the first game of the season,” Martin said.

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“I was just happy to get on the scoresheet and every player out there is trying to stake a claim to be in the starting XI come Colchester next week.

“Hopefully I've done enough but we'll have to wait and see.”

Martin faces challenges for a place from the likes of Goran Maric, Jamie Cureton and Cody McDonald when manager Bryan Gunn names his side, but he is happy to have the competition and believes it can drive City to a challenge for the top spots in League One this season.

“I think it's healthy,” he said. “I think that's the most important thing that we have competition all over the pitch and you're always being pushed just to get into the starting eleven and you know that you have to perform because if you don't then people will be replacing you.

“That's an important part of a good squad.

“I think we've got a good squad together. The gaffer's put in some very good players to go along with the good players that were already here. There's no reason why we can't be challenging up near the top of the league.”

And he sees plenty of positives on his return to Carrow Road, not least the unbeaten pre-season programme City have enjoyed.

“It's been good to come back. I've really enjoyed pre-season and I've been working hard and I'm really enjoying it,” he said. “It does the world of good (being unbeaten).

“It's the confidence and we can take positives into the first game and hopefully we can put the performances we've shown in pre-season we can use them in the first game of the season.”

Many see Martin's position as a striker in the centre of the park, but he spent a lot of time on the left wing for the Hatters last season, and is happy to continue out wide if it means getting regular games.

“As long as I'm in the team I don't mind where I am. I played it a lot last season, so it's a familiar role to me know I suppose and I do enjoy coming inside on my right foot and getting shots off,” he said.

“It's a different position and it takes some getting used to, but I think I've played it enough now to know the ins and outs of it.”

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