Praise for ‘defender’s nightmare’ McNamee
Russell Martin rated team-mate Anthony McNamee a defender’s nightmare after the substitute helped spark the fightback that earned Norwich City a point against Burnley.
The lively winger was introduced at half-time with the Canaries trailing 2-0 and in danger of slipping to their fourth Championship home defeat of the season.
And McNamee, who helped set up City’s first goal for Chris Martin before striking the woodwork, staked his claim for another outing at Millwall tomorrow (7.45pm).
After the 2-2 draw, the first of the season at Carrow Road, defender Martin said: “Macca came on and gave us a new dimension and got at the full-back every time. You know what you’re going to get with Macca, he’s going to get the ball and he’s going to be direct and run at the defender every time.
“To be honest, as a full-back it’s a nightmare. You don’t want someone like that coming on and he did really well. He can go both ways, he’s got good delivery and he was really unlucky not to score. I’m sure he’ll be pushing for a starting spot himself.”
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Martin admitted there was disappointment, however, at the way City went 2-0 down to two Martin Paterson goals – with the visiting team scoring first for the sixth time at Carrow Road this season.
“I thought we started the game OK and then as soon as they scored we were nowhere near good enough for the rest of the first half,” said Martin.
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“You don’t want to concede – it happened a few times last season. I remember Hartlepool coming here and scoring first but we always know we have goals in us. It shouldn’t take a goal from them to get us going, to start us off.
“We need to start games better, certainly, at home and even away from home at Cardiff last week. But if we get that right we’re not far off being a really good side at this level and we’re showing we can match anyone. We need to find a balance between going forward and playing exciting stuff and not getting counter-attacked. Teams come to places like ours and they play for the counter-attack. They can be up the other end of the pitch in a matter of seconds so we need to try to nullify that threat a bit better. But we’ve still kept six clean sheets this season, which isn’t bad for a defence coming up into this league.”
Martin knows that defence will be tested to the full in the weeks ahead, starting at Millwall tomorrow. “It’s one of the toughest months of the season and by the end of it we’ll probably know where we’re going to be aiming for and where we’re heading in this league,” he said.