‘I’ll look back on my career with pride’ – Former City skipper hangs up his boots
PUBLISHED: 17:23 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:23 06 November 2019
Norwich City legend Russell Martin has decided to retire from playing, after taking his first job in management with MK Dons.
Martin made 309 appearances for the Canaries between 2009 and 2017, having a spell on loan in Scotland with Rangers before coming to a mutual agreement to end his contract early after falling out favour under Daniel Farke.
The 33-year-old spent the first half of last season in League One with Walsall as a player-coach but switched to MK Dons and helped seal automatic promotion fro League Two.
Now Martin has picked up the reins, after manager Paul Tisdale was sacked with the Dons 21st in the table after a 3-1 home defeat to Tranmere, an eighth defeat in nine games.
"That's me done, unfortunately - or fortunately for some people!" Martin joked in his first press conference. "I'm all in on this. I need to be 100 percent focused on the management and coaching because to do both would be too difficult.
"I'll look back on my career with pride and real gratitude because I'm really grateful for the career that I've had, but I'm comfortable with it. I'm excited for this next challenge."
Experienced Dons players Dean Lewington and Ryan Harley will assist the former Scotland defender ahead of Saturday's FA Cup first round tie at home to League Two side Port Vale - with Martin having already said that he has people in mind for his backroom team, hinting that they may already be in employment elsewhere.
He also spoke about the managerial influences on him during his playing days, when taking questions from fans on the Dons' official website.
"I've had a few, I've played under some good ones," he said. "I worked for Paul Lambert, we had a brilliant time at Norwich, I worked for him at Wycombe and Norwich. Learned loads from him.
"Alex Neil who is doing so well at Preston now, no surprise, tactically was one of the best managers I've worked with. I've enjoyed good relationships with all the managers that I've worked with.
"Chris Hughton was extremely organised and structured, so you take bits from everyone. I probably played my best football under Paul lambert and Alex Neil, but that's probably coincided with what point in my career I was at.
"Gordon Strachan with Scotland was superb, so I've played under loads of really good managers and really good coaches and I'm fortunate to have loads of good experience in terms of that.
"So you take bits from everyone, the bits you like and the bits you're not so keen on, but fortunately I've had loads to look at and think 'that's brilliant' and learn from."