Analysis: How Derby striker put disappointing international break behind him

We analyse how Derby County striker Chris Martin played against Watford following mid-week criticism for his performance against England in a Scotland shirt...

Derby County striker Chris Martin put in a very good performance for the Rams on Saturday as they moved three points clear at the top of the table, despite not putting the ball in the net himself. 

The 21-year-old endured heavy criticism in the international break for his performance against England for Scotland, and his response upon returning to Derby had to be a good one considering they came up against fellow promotion rivals in Watford.

Steve McClaren's men started the day just three points clear of Watford in fifth, and just one point ahead of second in Bournemouth, so a win was imperative in order to get clearance at the top of the pile and Martin played a huge role in doing just that.

Although he didn't find the back of the net, even if he should have done at least once in the game, the performance from the striker was among one of his best for the season for his general all round play. 

In the first half, he played the lone forward role perfectly, showcasing fantastic vision and a number of emphatic touches which allowed him to bring others in to play. 

The highlight of the half for Scottish international was controlling an awkward ball perfectly, turning his man and shooting just past the post from just inside the area.

It was a piece of quality rarely seen at Championship level and he would have been gutted to not have added the finishing touch. 

A similar impact in the second half allowed him a lot more chances at goal, however, chances that went begging and one in particular he will want to forget. 

After getting an one-on one with the keeper due to some nice build up play, Martin, instead of ripping the back of the net out with one of his powerful finishes, decided to try and round the keeper and failed miserably. 

After picking himself up from the floor and allowing the keeper he had just bounded into receive treatment, the look of disappointment on his face was evident. He knew that he had made the wrong choice and unfortunately couldn't make amend it later on in the match.

Nevertheless, after a disappointing mid-week game for Scotland, Martin was able to produce a quality performance for the Rams and help them go clear at the top.

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