Lay off Russell Martin is the plea from Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke

Daniel Farke has defended skipper Russell Martin, who was the target for some of the disappointed Norwich City fans. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke has defended skipper Russell Martin, who was the target for some of the disappointed Norwich City fans. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Daniel Farke insists Russell Martin deserves more respect after the Norwich City captain was baited by sections of the travelling support in a miserable 4-0 Championship defeat at Millwall.

Martin was singled out for special treatment whenever he touched the ball towards the end of the first half before his second-half exit was greeted by ironic cheers from a pocket of frustrated City fans.

“In general I will not criticise my players in public. Especially Russ, who is the skipper of the team, a great person who has done a lot for the club,” said Farke. “He has had a really great career and we have to be a bit more respectful in these terms. Listen, I won’t complain about any player.

“It is up to me to improve our defence behaviour. It is up to me to find the solutions to improve our ability to stop conceding goals. I will not blame any player in public. In terms of Russell I don’t think he made big mistakes for the goals. We had other problems and it is up to me to find solutions.”

Farke admitted City’s surrender at The Den was one of the lowest points of his coaching career.

“It was pretty close to the top, that is for sure,” he said. “After a loss, especially such a result, you learn the most as a manager. That is clear. I didn’t expect we were so poor in our defence behaviour. Okay, you can say if that is a surprise or not but it is more I have to work at it. The number of conceded goals, 12 from five league games. It is not possible to win games with that average.

“Really concerned about this topic. The only thing that helps a little bit is we had some good defensive performances against QPR and Fulham. We were poor in the last row. It is the most important area of the pitch to make the difference.”

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