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Carl Martin could play a part - Crewe boss Dario Gradi

Crewe Alexandra defender Carl Martin
Crewe beat Dagenham to a 5,000 deal for Martin in 2009

Crewe manager Dario Gradi says defender Carl Martin can force his way into the first team if he can shake off his persistent injury problems.

Martin, 24, signed from Wealdstone in October 2009 but has been restricted to just six appearances because of injury.

"He's caused problems when he's played," Gradi told BBC Radio Stoke.

"He's come back and looked very good in training so I'm beginning to think that somewhere along the line he could play a part."

Gradi believes Martin, who is yet feature for the first team this season, has plenty of scope for improvement but is refusing to rush him back.

"He's only been back a week so I'm not thinking about him until he's been back two or three weeks and we've had a chance to see him in a reserve game," he said.

"He's never been fit for any length of time since he's been here.

"He's very strong athletically but doesn't know the position and I haven't been able to do the work with him."

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