DERBY County promotion hero Steve Howard has described fellow striker Chris Martin as “great signing” for his old club.
Martin has scored 25 goals in his first full season with the Rams, helping Steve McClaren’s men reach the Championship play-off final and becoming the first Derby player to reach the 20-goal mark since Dean Sturridge in 1995-96.
Howard came close, netting 19 times as he led the line in the Rams’ promotion-winning campaign of 2006-07 – and the £1m signing from Luton Town has appreciated Martin’s efforts this term.
“He’s been really good,” said Howard.
“He’s a very good player and has been very important to the team.
“I’m sure he’ll be able to kick on from here.
“He’ll do well in this side and, hopefully, he can help them get to Wembley again.”
Martin was snapped up by then-Derby manager Nigel Clough on a free transfer last summer after his contract with boyhood club Norwich City expired.
He had scored twice in 13 appearances during a loan spell with the Rams, having had a stint at Swindon Town in League One earlier in the season.
Howard said: “I don’t think anyone had particularly high hopes for him this season, but he’s come in and done a fantastic job.
“Obviously everybody else overlooked him but Derby got him and he’s been a great signing.”
Howard, now aged 37, is currently without a club since leaving Hartlepool United in November – but is considering a move abroad, possibly the United States.
“I’ve got three or four options,” he said.
“America is a shout, so I might go and play there. We’ll have to wait and see.”