Give us a chance – captain Russell Martin asks for open minds from Norwich City supporters when Derby kick off 2017 at Carrow Road

Robbie Brady heads for the tunnel after his Brentford sending-off, as Russell Martin pleads his inno

Robbie Brady heads for the tunnel after his Brentford sending-off, as Russell Martin pleads his innocence to referee Oliver Langford. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

All Russell Martin wants for the start of 2017, is for Carrow Road to give Norwich City a chance come Monday afternoon.

A goalless draw at Brentford on New Year’s Eve was a fitting footnote on City’s woeful 2016, and threatens a toxic atmosphere for Alex Neil’s men on their return home for the visit of in-form Derby (3pm).

But captain Martin felt there were “baby steps” forward for City at Griffin Park – and they deserve the chance to show they can turn their season around with the turn of a new year.

“You don’t want negativity from the off and I know it’s chicken and egg – what comes first? – we need to give them something to cheer but I don’t think it’s in anyone’s benefit to start with an atmosphere that’s negative and baying for blood,” said Martin.

“I don’t think it will be like that – or I hope it won’t. I don’t really follow it on social media. I think the lads with give them something to shout about if we play with the intensity we did here and it’s up to us to do that for them.

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“And then I hope they will get behind us because at the end of the day they want to see their football club win.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully playing on Monday. I think the lads will be. We’re desperate to put it right. I think that’s the thing, and you’ve seen that desperation in certain games. Monday is a start and an opportunity for us.

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“Of course there’s a lot riding on Monday and I just hope people turn up and get behind us. I don’t think it will help anyone if they turn up waiting for us not to produce. I know it works both ways and we need to give them something to cheer about; I’m positive we can do that.

“There needs to be togetherness at the club that has maybe drifted apart recently because of the position we’re in. But there’s 20-odd games to go. We can still turn this into a good season – and we’re going to need everyone to do it.”

• Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey and Facebook @mbjourno

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