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DERBY COUNTY PLAY-OFF BUILD-UP: Chris Martin on the attack ahead of second leg

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 10, 2014

Derby's Chris Martin (left) celebrates scoring his second goal with Jamie Ward during the Sky Bet Championship Play-off, Semi Final match at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 8, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Brigh

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CHRIS Martin believes attack is the best form of defence for Derby County as they look to clinch their place in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

The Rams lead 2-1 from Thursday night’s semi-final first leg against Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.

Steve McClaren’s men will be looking to finish the job in the return leg at the iPro Stadium tomorrow, kick-off 5.15pm.

And although a draw would be enough to send Derby to Wembley, Martin still wants the team to remain positive in their approach, rather than simply look to defend their advantage.

“I think we’ve got to be positive, to be honest,” said the striker.

“They put us under a lot of pressure in the first leg and you saw that if we drop off a little bit, they’re going to cause us problems.

“We need to be confident and try to impress our game on them a little bit more.

“I think we have to try to win the game.

“I don’t think we can rest on our laurels and play for the draw.

“We’ve seen it before in play-offs and European ties and I don’t think we can afford to do that.

“Attack is the best form of defence, I think.”

Martin is relishing the chance to win promotion to the Premier League and does not think nerves will play a part this weekend.

“It’s a massive opportunity for us to get to the Premier League and I’m excited about that,” he said.

“That’s the prize at the end of everything and that’s how we’ll view it.

“I don’t think we’ll be nervous – though I can’t speak for everybody.

“I think we’ve got to view it as a big opportunity and try to seize it.

“We’ve got quite a youthful side, so I’m not sure they’ll be too many nerves.

“Most of us haven’t experienced this before and haven’t had the failures that might make you nervous.

“We’ll try to take it in our stride and, hopefully, get the win.”

Although Derby are well-placed in the tie, with a one-goal lead and home advantage, Martin is not taking anything for granted.

“We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves, especially against a team like Brighton,” he said.

“They’re a very good side and can punish us if we do that.

“We massively want to get to Wembley but we’ve still got a big job ahead.

“We need to focus on the next game, which we’ve done well all season.

“We need to make sure we prepare well and get our recovery in beforehand.

“It’s going to be a very difficult game but, hopefully, we can come through it.”

The Rams had to come from behind at Brighton, after Jesse Lingard put the Seagulls ahead in the 18th minute.

Martin levelled from the penalty spot just before the half-hour – his 24th goal of the season – after full-back Craig Forsyth was chopped down in the area by ex-England defender Matthew Upson.

Martin was involved again as Derby took the lead in first-half stoppage time – his shot crashing against the bar and going in off keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

“They started very brightly in the first 20 minutes and we had to weather the storm,” said the former Norwich man.

“They got a goal up, which we were disappointed about, but they played well and probably deserved the lead.

“However, I thought it was a fantastic reaction from the lads to get back into it.

“Fozzy did brilliantly to win the penalty and I think that calmed us a little bit.

“It also quietened their crowd a bit and we were able to press on and get a second goal before the break.

“I’ve been told I can’t claim it – though I would have liked to!

“I’m not too fussed, though.

“It doesn’t matter who scores the goals, to be honest, as long as we do score and get the victories.

“There was a bit of a rearguard action in the second half but we held on well.”

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