10:00 Friday 06 December 2013

Chris Martin eyes 20 goals for Derby County after passing first target

Written byCHRIS WATSON

DELS20131109E-040_C.JPG Picture: Lucy ShawDerby County v Sheffield Wednesday 3-0Picture shows Derby County player Chris Martin DELS20131109E-040_C.JPG Picture: Lucy ShawDerby County v Sheffield Wednesday 3-0Picture shows Derby County player Chris Martin

HAVING ticked off his first target, Derby County striker Chris Martin is now setting his sights on 20 goals this season.

Martin netted his 10th of the campaign in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough, with less than half the season gone.

It has taken the summer signing from Norwich City only 21 appearances to reach double figures.

And now the 25-year-old wants to become the first player to hit 20 goals in a season since Dean Sturridge achieved the feat in 1995-96.

“It’s great to get into double figures – that was the first target that I set myself,” said Martin.

“Hopefully, I can get 10 more just as quickly.

“I think we’re playing good enough football for me to get the chances to do it.

“It’s just a matter of me getting into the positions and keeping my form going.

“I back myself to score every time and with the quality of delivery we’ve got in the team, I should keep getting the chances.”

Martin opened the scoring against Boro on the stroke of half-time, getting on the end of a cross from Craig Bryson.

“I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to get there,” he said.

“Bryso put a very teasing ball into the box and I just managed to stretch my leg out and get my studs on it.

“I think it went through the keeper’s legs in the end.

“It was an important time to score. The disappointing thing was that we didn’t manage to build on it in the second half.

“But at the end of the day, we got the three points and we’ll take them.”

Boro had Curtis Main sent off in the first half for a second bookable offence but levelled through Dean Whitehead after 74 minutes.

However, substitute Conor Sammon won it for the Rams with a 90th-minute strike.

“It wasn’t our best performance but it’s probably the first time when we’ve not played well and won,” said Martin.

“It was definitely a case of it being harder to play against 10 men.

“Middlesbrough were very organised and they look a good side.

“I think their league position is a little bit false at the moment. They’ve got some good players.

“Once they got their goal, that gave them something to hang on to, so that made it even more difficult for us.

“But we kept playing and kept probing.

“We’re delighted that we’ve managed to grind out a result.”

Martin’s form has restricted Sammon’s first-team opportunities this season.

“We didn’t create too many clear-cut chances in the second half but great credit to Conor Sammon,” said team-mate Martin.

“He’s bided his time, come off the bench, put himself about and got in where it hurts.

“And luckily for us, he’s popped up with the winning goal.

“He might be frustrated at not playing but he’s shown a great attitude. He’s a top professional, just like all the lads are.

“Sammo has produced a couple of fantastic winning goals for us (against Watford and Middlesbrough) and when we look back at the end of the season, they might be some very important points.”

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