Norwich City defender Russell Martin is ready to fight his Scotland international team-mate Steven Whittaker for a Premier League starting spot.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The versatile Whittaker can operate in a number of positions, including right-back, but Martin insists the summer signing from Rangers is a quality addition to Chris Hughton’s Canaries’ squad.

“If we’re rivals for a position so be it – that’s football,” he said. “Myself and Whitts can both play in a variety of positions. He can play right or left-back, in midfield or even at centre-back. I predominately play right-back or centre-half so I don’t know how it will work. But he’s a really good lad and I get on well with him.

“I’m sure he’ll come down and do really well. It will also be beneficial to the national team because he’ll be up against some top class players. Steven has come from a team that’s used to winning titles and trophies but down here it will be a bit different.

“It will be a tough season but with a good addition like Whitts I’m confident we’ll be more than all right.”

Martin’s ultra-consistent displays at full-back and central defence to help the Canaries seal another season of top flight football earned him a new three-year deal over the summer.

The 26-year-old admits establishing himself at Premier League level along with breaking into the international scene looked a distant dream when he was diagnosed with colitis whilst playing for City back in League One.

Martin is now a sporting ambassador for Crohn’s and Colitis UK, and the defender is determined to use his higher profile status to raise awareness of the debilitating condition. “When I got my diagnosis the specialist was brutally honest and said: ‘We need to get this sorted because if you have this for a long period it will cause other things.’ It’s related to arthritis and you can get arthritic swelling around the joints, which is no use for a footballer,” Martin told Scotland’s Sunday Mail.

“You also get chronic fatigue. When I came home from training all I wanted to do was sleep. I was quite worried for a while but I took my medication and managed to avoid flare-ups. There’s no cure so you just have to treat and manage it. That’s the hardest part – to find the way that works for you. I was lucky in that I found out pretty quickly what I can and can’t tolerate.”

Martin has also backed his international captain and Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher to eventually make a similar return to the big time.

Fletcher was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis last season and has not featured in a competitive game for the Premier League runners-up since November 2011.

“We’ve texted each other a few times and spoken,” said Martin. “I told Darren what worked for me and sent him an e-mail of the food I stay away from. It’s different for everyone but I’m sure United will have some top people trying to help Darren.

“I found a way to manage it but it was scary and unfortunately Darren’s going through that at the minute. It’s such a hard thing to deal with as you get told conflicting things from different specialists. I was playing in League One with Norwich which is slightly different to Darren trying to play in the Champions League and Premier League.”

11 comments

  • I`m sure I`ve read this article before. It has a smack of "warmed-over" about it. I wonder if Russ is Captain-designate? Joey Barton is a Tourette`s type, really. In his own mind he is probably a messianic visionary, gifted with talents beyond the comprehension of ordinary mortals. A bit like Eric Cantona, or Kneel Donkeystar. ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • That takes the biscuit, man. ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

  • Doncaster always looks like a dicker bor in headlights to me. I don't think he actually understands where he is or what he is supposed to be doing. A pity that nothing ever seemed to happen regarding Chris Gunter and that he has gone to Reading who are definitely collecting at the moment. We need a good showing against them, my new boss is a Reading fan.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • Swiss, we trust you to teach him how to read. ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • This kind of stuff always rings a bit hollow with me ....."We've got someone else who plays the same position as you, so you won't be making the 1st team every game.."......." Oh good. I welcome that..".......Don't think so, somehow Russ !

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • From the Beeb`s footy headlines:- Reading have signed Chris Gunter from Forest for £2.3 million. They`ve been the busiest bees so far, I think. Then, they are making that transition to the Prem, like we did last year.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • I will Brewer, but he still insists on me calling him "Your Madejski"

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

  • Agree with that, Swiss. Had a great season. He also now seems to be our new club spokesman.

    Report this comment

    Kent Anglian

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • I will Brewer, but he still insists on me calling him "Your Madejski"

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

  • It's all a game, the only one who really says exactly what he's thinking in Joey Barton and frankly I would rather he kept it to himself. I think that Russ' commitment on the pitch is what really makes his case.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • He really is a bit of a hero, our Russ.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Homes24
Jobs24
Drive24
MyDate24
MyPhotos24
FamilyNotices24
Weddingsite

Order your copy of The Canary magazine
Norwich City: History as it happened
Order your copy of Norwich City: History as it Happened
Read our digital publication

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT