Chris Martin's perfect answer to Scotland boo boys '“ Ikechi Anya

Ikechi Anya has praised the character of Derby team-mate Chris Martin after the striker was abused by a section of the Tartan Army before scoring the vital winner against '¨Slovenia.

Ikechi Anya almost scored with his first touch against Slovenia. Picture: SNS.
Ikechi Anya almost scored with his first touch against Slovenia. Picture: SNS.

Boos could be heard ringing around a half-full Hampden when Martin, on loan at Fulham, came on in 82 minutes
but, six minutes later, the same fans were rejoicing as the 28-year-old latched onto Stuart Armstrong’s pass to 
re-ignite the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Anya praised his club 
colleague, perhaps not least because it rendered 
unimportant his missed opportunity with 15 minutes remaining.

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The 29-year-old utility player said: “It’s never nice for a player to experience that but I think Chris answered in
the best way by scoring the goal.

“And at least for the night he was the hero and he enjoyed that. I’m sure that will put him in good stead for when we meet back up again for the game against England.

“It shows his character but we all know that about Chris and that’s the reason he has scored so many goals at Championship level.

“His job is to score goals and luckily he came up with one on Sunday night.

“You could see the emotion when Chris scored the goal. We made enough chances to win a couple of games on 
Sunday night.

“We started from minute one and we kept going until we got the last-minute winner – and that’s why you play football, for moments like that. I could have been the hero with my first touch. I tried to just pass it into the corner but instead I passed it into the keeper.

“It was unfortunate but, thankfully, we got the three points at the end.”

The Scots are now back in the mix with Slovakia and Slovenia for second place in Group F which will, in all likelihood, be one of the eight best 
runners-up spots needed for the play-offs.

Anya added: “We feel this is a turning point .

“We all said before the game that we had to win this game – the gaffer came out and said it and we all said it, too.

“So we delivered on 
that aspect and, hopefully, it makes up for the indifferent start we have had to the 
campaign.

“Now we need to have a 
positive result against England in a few months’ time to make this result against 
Slovenia really count.”