CHRIS HAS ANOTHER REASON TO CELEBRATE
DERBY’S Chris Martin has had double cause for celebration this week after firing Derby into the Championship play-off final and earning his first Scotland call-up.
But the 25-year-old insists the Tartan Army will continue to play second fiddle before the Rams take to Wembley against QPR this Saturday.
In-form Martin scored in last the 4-1 rout of Brighton as Derby made light work of the Seagulls to win 6-2 on aggregate. The 25-goal striker is now in line to make his Scotland deb -ut ag-ainst Nigeria at Craven Cottage on May 28.
But Martin says he has unfinished business with his club before taking to the international stage.
“I spoke to Scotland manager Gordon Strachan a few times earlier this year and I’m glad he has seen enough in me to give me this opportunity,” said Martin, who qualifies through his dad.
“I’m really relishing being in the squad, but there is a massive game for Derby first but this callup is brilliant news.
“It is an honour for me although it has been a little while to get to this stage. There was talk of me being in the last squad but clearance didn’t come from FIFA in time.”
Martin isn’t the only Ram in Gordon Strachan’s squad, with two-cap Craig Bryson joining another debutant Craig Forsyth.
“It is nice to get the recognition on an individual basis but it’s also nice as a team with three players in the squad,” added Martin.
“It has been a really memorable season and I’ve really enjoyed it. Hopefully, there are one or two more high moments to come.”
There will be few higher than the Pride Park hammering Martin and co dished out to Brighton.
The hosts, who led 2-1 after the first leg, extended their lead when Will Hughes brilliantly flicked in Jamie Ward’s cross.
Martin bundled the ball over the line after Jamie Ward’s knock-down and George Thorne volleyed in a spectacular third.
Jeff Hendrick made it 4-0 after Patrick Bamford’ss pullback, before Kazenga Lua Lua's consolation from 18 yards.
Brighton boss Oscar Garcia, who had his offer to resign accepted by the club, said:“The club has been aware of my thoughts for several weeks.
“During this time, I have had discussions with the chairman, Tony Bloom, and chief executive, Paul Barber. I have enjoyed my time with the club but, I have decided to move on.”