Striker has 'learned from mistake'

CHRIS Martin has spoken frankly about the past, the present and the future - and says he is determined to make it at Norwich City.

CHRIS Martin has spoken frankly about the past, the present and the future - and says he is determined to make it at Norwich City.

The teenage striker came under regular fire from manager Glenn Roeder last season and then took a direct hit towards the end of the season when it was revealed he had been banned from as string of local pubs after an incident in his home town of Beccles.

It was not what Roeder would have wanted to hear after numerous warnings, but Martin says he has learned his lesson the hard way and is ready to put his misdemeanours behind him.

“Obviously it is disappointing for myself and it was stupid by me,” he said. “I regret it, but hopefully that's out of the way now.

“I have learned from my mistake and I just want to forget about it and get on with the new season.

“It doesn't make it any excuse that I am young, it was still very naïve of me, but hopefully that is all out of the way.”

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The light at the end of the tunnel for Martin is that Roeder is low on attacking resources, with Dion Dublin having retired and Ched Evans back at Manchester City.

Only Jamie Cureton remains from last year's regular attacking choices, leaving Roeder in the market for partners. And that's where Martin hopes to solve a problem and save some cash at the same time.

“Hopefully I can, but we will just have to wait and see,” he said. “I still think we need to bring one or maybe two strikers in to the club to get some good healthy competition, but I still think with players coming in to the club I have a chance possibly of getting into the first team.

“But it is up to me to put the hard work in on the training field and hope that the manager will pick me.

“I have been training hard over the summer and can't wait to get a few games under my belt.”

Roeder will need some convincing, especially having compared Martin and team-mate Michael Spillane with some of the young loan players he brought into Carrow Road with such success last season - and coming up short on plus points for both.

It led him to lay down some challenges - and Martin believes he can meet them.

“I think they were rightful demands,” he said. “Obviously I had a poor season last year and I want to try and put that behind me, but I am confident that I can do well this season and holds down a first team place.”

Roeder had hinted that Martin, whose contract runs until April, 2010, could go out on loan this coming season - although the players' stock hasn't fallen as far as some of those who have been shown the exit door since the manager's arrival at the end of October.

“Obviously he has shown faith because we are still at the club,” he said. “He might have said that we weren't in his plans, but hopefully we can both step up to the plate this season.

“I have been working hard and it is up to me to put the work in during pre-season as well. There will be some more hard work and there is definitely going to be a lot of running but I can't wait to get into the games.

“I have seen a lot of friends go this summer and obviously I don't want to be in that kind of position in a year or two years time. I think it puts things into perspective for you and hopefully it will make me work a lot harder.”

The prospect of a loan move doesn't appeal.

“I think that is a negative thing, having to go out on loan, because that means I'm not playing at Norwich City and that, in my mind, is the thing I want to do,” he said.

“I want to play for Norwich City and I want to be here for years to come.”