City striker Chris Martin has revealed that a recent run of goals has given him the freedom to express himself as the 20-year-old looks to cement a permanent place in the Canary line-up.
Martin scored his fifth goal of the season in the 1-0 win over Swindon at the weekend and is reaping the rewards after being given an extended run in the side.
He has started every game since coming off the bench to net the opener in last month’s 4-0 win over Leyton Orient.
But even though some solid performances in attack represent progress for a player who was cast aside under Glenn Roeder, it’s goals which do it for strikers.
And the Beccles-born forward is relishing seeing his name up in lights on a more regular basis…
“It gives any striker confidence,” he said, after Saturday’s Robins triumph moved City up to fifth place in League One and only seven points off Charlton in second.
“I went through a hard time under a different manager here a couple of seasons ago and wasn’t playing much and it’s definitely turned itself on its head and I’m just happy to be playing and getting on the scoresheet.
“It’s nice to be playing but if you’re not scoring you’re a bit hit and miss and you don’t know whether you are going to be in the team the next week.
“Scoring goals gives you the confidence to go out and play freely when you know you are getting on the scoresheet.
“If I keep my head down and keep working hard then I’m sure I’ll keep progressing. Obviously I’m confident in my own ability as most players should be at this level.”
The first-half goal settled a deserved win for the home side and there was a rare assist for Gary Doherty in the process.
And after the defender’s neat pass put in Martin, he was not about to make any mistake from five yards out.
“It was nice to be in the position to score and Doc has done brilliantly for me,” continued the player Paul Lambert described as being ‘one of the best finishers I’ve seen for a long time’.
“To be fair to him, he brought it down and played it with his left foot straight to me. All I did was touch it and pop it in the bottom corner.
“Wes [Hoolahan] tried to flick it and I was just floating around in the box and luckily Doc had the quality to find me. I think he’s underrated in that aspect and I think he showed good quality with it.”
Anyone in attendance couldn’t fault the final outcome at Carrow Road. But Martin conceded that at 2-0, it would have been game over and some nails would have been spared.
But the Academy product declared himself extremely satisfied with City’s recent form and while he wasn’t about to make any bold predictions, automatic promotion is clearly the aim.
And from speaking to the 20-year-old, it’s clear he’s in a pretty good place at the moment. Long may it continue.
“We made it a little bit harder than perhaps we needed to by not getting the second, but I thought the lads showed great spirit. We didn’t even look like conceding for most of the game and that’s credit to the defensive lads.
“I think we are always going to cause teams problems up front, which we did today, and I think we were unlucky not to get another.
“We’ve got very good players, as a team we’re strong and we’ve got a big squad – they are all the attributes you need to have a good season. When a team is playing as well as we are, then they are going to pick up good results.
“We’ve shown very good quality in the last month or so after a shaky start. If we keep playing the way we are, we’ll keep picking up the wins.”