Derby County manager Phillip Cocu has told Rams TV that striker Chris Martin is an option to start against Birmingham City after his involvement against Leeds United.

Martin came off the bench at Elland Road and scored a last-minute equaliser.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images).

Derby looked toothless against Leeds for the first hour. However, Martin’s introduction helped the ball stick in the final third, and the Rams managed to salvage a 1-1 draw.

Supporters have called for the former Norwich City striker to start the game against Birmingham this weekend, and Cocu’s comments suggest it may well happen.

He’s doing very well. We talked after the game, not only about his goal but his improvement in his physical development. He’s feeling a lot better, so we continue with the work and he is open to doing extra work to gain maybe ten, fifteen percent more. I think he is one of the options [to start] for Saturday.

Martin joined Derby from Norwich under then manager Nigel Clough. In his first three seasons at Pride Park, the striker topped the club’s scoring charts with over 50 goals.

The arrival of Nigel Pearson as manager, however, saw Martin shipped out on loan. He had a decent spell at Fulham, scoring ten Championship goals in 30 games.

But he struggled on his return to the Rams. Under subsequent managers Gary Rowett and Frank Lampard, he was barely used and loan spells at Reading and Hull City followed.

Martin became a forgotten figure at Pride Park. However, the 30-year-old looked sharp in pre-season and Derby’s struggles this season have given him another chance.

(Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images).

Phillip Cocu’s side lack creativity and a focal point upfront. Martin can help Derby on both fronts, and his presence could also get the best out of a frustrated Jack Marriott.

Also see: Phillip Cocu responds when asked whether Tom Lawrence or Mason Bennett will feature vs Blues.

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