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Derby County look to the future after Martin loan

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 23, 2013

Chris Martin

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NIGEL Clough has indicated that Chris Martin could stay at Derby County beyond his initial one-month loan after quickly moving to replace departed striker Theo Robinson.

Robinson, the Rams’ second-highest goalscorer this season, was allowed to join Championship rivals Huddersfield Town on loan until the end of the season yesterday, with Clough then borrowing Martin, 24, from Norwich City.

The former Burton Albion boss has previously indicated that any loans the club made this season would be with a view to a permanent signing in the summer, as they have done in the past with the likes of Jamie Ward, Frank Fielding and, ironically, Robinson himself.

Clough said: “Initially, Chris is here for a month and we’ll just take things from there.”

“We’re pleased Chris has decided to join us and provide another option in attack.

“With Theo asking to go out on loan, there was obviously a need to bring in a replacement once a deal with Huddersfield was agreed.”

Martin, who is expected to go straight into the squad to face Watford at Vicarage Road today, kick-off 3pm, was asked about extending his stay beyond a month, and said: “Who knows what might happen, that is definitely a possibility.

“We’ve just got to see how these first 28 days go and hopefully the club like me.

Martin has been a consistent scorer so far in his career, although most of his goals have come in the lower divisions, and he is yet to find the target for the Canaries in the Premier League.

He made his debut for his hometown club aged just 18, in January 2007, and scored his first goal the next month in the FA Cup.

He ended the 2006/07 season with five goals, including one against the Rams in a 2-1 defeat at Carrow Road.

Indeed, Derby have been happy opponents for the former England under-19 striker, who has scored in every one of his four games against the Rams.

Martin said: “I’ve had a couple of good results (at Pride Park) with the teams I’ve been here with, and hopefully I can keep that form up.

“I’m delighted to be here and I can’t wait to get working

“It’s been in the pipeline for a couple of weeks, but it’s just taken a bit longer than I thought to finally get sorted.

“The facilities here are top-notch - probably better than at Norwich, which are pretty good anyway.”

Martin joined Luton Town on loan for the 2008/09 season, scoring 13 goals as the Hatters were relegated from the Football League.

The forward soon threw off that disappointment though and had his most prolific campaign yet, plundering 23 goals for Norwich as they stormed to the League One title.

Martin found this a little tougher going in the Championship, netting just six goals for the Canaries in 2010/11, and then seven times for Crystal Palace after joining them on loan last season.

Those two spells included three more goals against the Rams, making it four in four appearances.

This season, Martin failed to re-establish himself in Chris Hughton’s plans, and was sent out on loan again, this time to Swindon Town, where he scored once in 12 appearances before returning to Norwich earlier this month.

Meanwhile, recently-capped Jamaica international Robinson, 24, is the Rams second-top scorer this season, with nine goals in all competitions.

However, he has fallen down the pecking order since the arrival of fellow forward Conor Sammon, and the return from injury of top marksman Jamie Ward.

Robinson, who played over 40 games for the Tykes between 2009 and 2011 before joining Millwall, has not started a game in two months.

As a result, the Birmingham-born forward last week held discussions with manager Nigel Clough, where he requested to go out on loan in order to play first-team football on a more regular basis.

Robinson was the Rams joint top-scorer last season and has so far made 83 appearances, scoring 23 times.

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