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Chris Martin is keeping his feet on the ground

PUBLISHED: 11:24 06 December 2010

Derby County scramble the ball away for their own line under pressure from Chris Martin. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Derby County scramble the ball away for their own line under pressure from Chris Martin. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Focus Images 2010

Striker Chris Martin echoed his manager's words of caution after helping Norwich City into the top four of the Championship.

Martin scored his sixth goal of the season in the 2-1 win at Derby – and the Canaries have now faced all but three teams in the division and all those in the top half except Coventry.

“The table suggests we are fourth best but I don’t know, to be honest,” he said. “There are a lot of good sides in this division. Teams may have started off poorly or be in a bad run right now but can easily turn it around. I don’t think it shows the whole picture yet. Ask me again in March and it might be a little bit more realistic.”

The 22-year-old Martin said it was essential for City to follow up their 4-1 derby triumph over Ipswich with another convincing performance.

“We know we trust ourselves and our own ability and this result was massive after last weekend,” he said.

“We just said in the changing room that it was important to back it up. We go above Derby now and it keeps us in the play-off picture.

“People may take notice of it, but we are not worried about what people think. We are just concentrating on ourselves and that has stood us in good stead so far and as long as we keep performing the way we have done here then we’ll be fine.”

Martin came into the City first team as an 18-year-old in a team that was struggling to get out of the bottom third of the Championship – very different to their current elevated position.

“It’s probably the highest position I have been in as a player, which is always good,” he said.

“You want to play at the highest level you can and I am very much enjoying it. To score as well is going to keep my confidence up.

“It’s a little bit different to my previous experience with Norwich in the Championship, but it’s very good for the club, the supporters and the lads.

“I think it’s just a lot more positive this time around in the Championship because if you are winning games then the atmosphere is quite different.”

Martin was also delighted to score with a header from Simon Lappin’s pinpoint cross.

“I didn’t have to move too much, to be honest,” he said. “It was a great cross from Lapps and I just ghosted in there. I played the ball out wide and didn’t have to do too much until the ball hit my head and I was delighted to see it go in the corner.

“I can’t claim to be that good of a header because I don’t score many goals like that. As a striker you have to feel confident when you go out there – otherwise you can get down on yourself.”

• City Under-18s’ FA Premier Academy League match at home to West Ham on Saturday was postponed because of bad weather.

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