Russell Martin bowled over by fans
David Cuffley Defender Russell Martin reflected on a winning debut for Norwich City, then admitted: "I can't wait to play at Carrow Road." The 23-year-old right-back, on loan from Peterborough United but seemingly destined for a permanent move in January, was preferred to Jon Otsemobor for last night's League One game at Southend.
Defender Russell Martin reflected on a winning debut for Norwich City, then admitted: "I can't wait to play at Carrow Road."
The 23-year-old right-back, on loan from Peterborough United but seemingly destined for a permanent move in January, was preferred to Jon Otsemobor for last night's League One game at Southend.
Martin helped City move up to third place in the table with a 3-0 win in front of nearly 2,000 travelling fans, then confessed that the scale of their support had bowled him over.
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He said: "The club's massive, the fans that came down tonight were brilliant. I'm looking forward to playing at Carrow Road in front of such a big crowd and if the fans are like this away from home at Southend, it's unbelievable to think what they can be like at home.
"For me, even seeing the club for a week, the facilities and the lads, yes I definitely want to stay."
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Martin, who captained Posh to promotion from the same division last season, was kept waiting until the last moment before learning of his selection - but it still came earlier than he expected. He said: "I thought I might have to wait a little bit longer for my debut because the boys have been doing really well, but I only found out in the dressing room just before. That's how the gaffer does it. But as soon as I knew I was starting, I knew what I had to do and we got a great result.
"It was good, really enjoyable. I just wanted to get out there and play and thankfully we kept a clean sheet, which is all you can ask for as a defender, and we scored three good goals, three great finishes.
"My legs were a bit tired towards the end because I haven't played in about four weeks and it's a lot different to reserves and training."
He added: "It's a pleasure to play in the team. They want to play football. The gaffer wants us to play the right way, wants us to bomb forward but at the same time defend. That's the way I played last year with Peterborough. We went up playing like that.
"There are going to be times where you lose the ball, but they're very organised and there is lots of communication.
"As soon as the Carlisle game went, the gaffer had a meeting with us and he said 'The good teams always bounce back'. Tonight I think we showed it was a one-off at Carlisle. It was the best way to bounce back and answer the critics, if there were any, to show them what we're made of."
It was goalless at half-time at Roots Hall but there was no panic from Lambert during the interval. "He said we were in control but just needed that goal to settle things down," said Martin.
"He said we had the fans on our side, they were willing us to do well and we just had to keep playing the way we had trained to."
Lambert said he included Martin, his former player from Wycombe, out of a desire to try out new faces.
He said: "I just thought we needed some sort of freshen up somewhere because a lot of lads have played a lot of games. Whether it was Russell or somebody else, we just needed somebody a little bit different and it worked."