‘I used to be good for a goal’ – City legend savours late winner for League Two promotion hopefuls
PUBLISHED: 10:20 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:20 01 April 2019
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Scoring a late winner for MK Dons has reminded Norwich City legend Russell Martin of the ‘great feeling’ he hasn’t enjoyed too much in recent years.
The defender scored five goals as a right-back during the Championship promotion of 2010-11 for the Canaries and notched 17 in total in his 309 appearances between 2009 and 2017.
The 33-year-old scored his first goal in over a year – since scoring when on loan at Rangers – with a calm touch in a crowded penalty area before squeezing in from close range to snatch a 2-1 win in the 87th minute at Forest Green Rovers, moving the Dons up to second in League Two.
“I used to be good for a goal but they’ve dried up recently!” Martin said. “It’s a great feeling, and I think we deserved it on the whole. We created a lot of openings, we just weren’t as clinical in the final third.
“We were solid, they had limited chances, we disrupted the way they play and all in all, it’s a good day. When they scored, it takes a lot to bounce back from that. Momentum had swung but the subs were brilliant.
“And it shows the desire when Joe Walsh keeps the ball in, Jake Hesketh has a bit of quality to find me at the back post and it felt like it took forever to go in, to be honest! It was the slowest goal ever! But we’re massively relieved.”
Martin mutually agreed to end his City contract early in August, as he remained out of favour under Daniel Farke and initially spent time in League One with League One side Walsall.
He joined MK in January and has now become a regular for the promotion hopefuls, making 12 appearances, with his winner pushing the Dons three points clear of the play-off places.
“I’m loving it, to be honest, and I think I’m getting better as games go on,” the former Scotland international told the Milton Keynes Citizen. “I hope I’ve got three or four years left to play, we’ll see, but I’m enjoying every minute.
“It’s great group of lads, I enjoy working with Tis who is an excellent manager. It’s a really good environment, a really good club and it makes it really enjoyable to come in to every day. And to be a part of a promotion push as well, I said to the lads that these don’t come around very often.
“Some players go an entire career without one so for us to be a part of one, we want to see it over the line.”
Martin is due to play at Carrow Road again on Monday, May 6, in a game featuring Canaries legends in aid of charity, in celebration of the careers of Martin and Wes Hoolahan.