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DERBY COUNTY PLAY-OFF BUILD-UP: Hitman Chris Martin looking to clip Seagulls’ wings once again

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 08, 2014

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CHRIS Martin is hoping his goals can see off Brighton & Hove Albion once again in the Championship play-offs.

Top-scorer Martin scored twice when the Rams won 2-1 at the Amex Stadium earlier this season.

Tonight, Derby return to the home of the Seagulls for the first leg of their semi-final tie, kick-off 7.45pm.

“It does give you confidence when you’ve scored against a team before,” said Martin, who has 23 goals to his name this term.

“It’s a strange one, because there are certain teams you seem to score against and others that you can’t seem to break your duck against.

“Hopefully, it’s a good omen. I’ve scored against them previously for Norwich as well, so I can take confidence from that.

“But I know that every single game is different.

“I’m confident I can score and confident of the team in general, because of the way we’ve been playing.

“Hopefully, I’ve saved a few goals in reserve for these last few games!”

Derby were the top scorers in the Championship this season with 84 goals.

Brighton have the second-best defensive record in the division behind promoted Burnley, conceding 40 times in 46 matches.

And Martin is anticipating an intriguing tactical battle between the sides.

“I think, tactically, it will be an interesting game,” said the striker.

“Brighton like to play in the right manner, as we do – getting the ball down and playing out from the back.

“Obviously, the managers will have their say in terms of tactics.

“But it’s also about desire and the will to win, which we’ve had in abundance.

“We’ve been very good away from home – I think there were only a couple of teams who were better than us this season.

“I think it suits us, because teams have to come out and play against us – and sometimes we can hit them on the break, because they will leave a few more spaces than when they come to the iPro.

“I think Brighton will try to impress their formation and style of play on us, and that could give us a bit more freedom going the other way.

“It might be a bit of cat-and-mouse - and, hopefully, we can come out on top.”

Like most of Derby’s team, Martin is new to the play-off experience.

But the former Norwich City front man is relishing the big occasion.

“If you listen to people, you hear that is can be a bit more nerve-racking,” he said.

“But I’m not the type to get too nervous, so I don’t think that will play too big a part for me.

“The main thing for us is that it’s a great opportunity for us and we see it as a stage to go and show people how good we are.

“We look at it as a great opportunity.”

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