Russell Martin relishes the return of that winning feeling – now he wants momentum for Norwich City
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Russell Martin was open about the fact it felt a while since Norwich City last tasted competitive success – although even he was slightly taken aback at the news the Canaries’ last win came in March.
And off the back of what felt like an opening weekend wobble at Wolves, there may well have been relief dancing with the delight of earning a comfortable three points on their Carrow Road return.
For once, there’s no hiding or down-playing what City want to achieve this season – and Martin is clear on what will get them there.
“It feels like a while – it’s been a while as well, but the win feels great and it’s nice to get that feeling back,” beamed the City skipper. “I said to the boys in there, hopefully this is the start of something now – especially at Carrow Road. We need to get this place going and when we’ve got a bit of momentum, as we proved last time we were in this league, it counts for a lot.”
While Martin Olsson’s red card at Wolves deserves to be a caveat in that opening loss, Joel Ekstrand’s third-minute dismissal will do likewise for City’s dominant efforts over Watford – a first win since the top-flight victory over Sunderland at Carrow Road on March 22.
“Even though Watford went down to 10 men early, I thought we dealt with it all really well,” said Martin. “The game got a little too open in the first 10 minutes of the second half but apart from that, everyone was really good and we let the ball do most of the work in the second half. So hopefully that’s saved a bit in the tank for Tuesday (v Blackburn).
“We had a chat about Sunday and we were pretty realistic about it. We didn’t start well and in the second half we were coming into the game, felt we were starting to dominate – and then the game turned on a decision. We still had a couple of half-chances after that but it wasn’t as bad as some people have made out.
“We’re a pretty level-headed group. We analysed it, got over it really quickly and knew what we had to do this week at home – and fortunately we’ve done it.”
For Martin, the evidence backed the red card: “I didn’t see the incident but I’ve seen Nathan’s (Redmond) nose, so I know he’s caught him – but I don’t know if it was intentional.
“People say it’s harder playing against 10 men but I thought we dealt with the situation really well and came through with flying colours.”
The last word was saved for the man who knew all about waiting for a win – Saturday was Neil Adams’ first as City boss from game seven.
“Him and the staff deserve this because performances have been so improved since he came in – we’ve deserved a win before now,” added Martin. “To get it now is good for him and for us. I’m sure he’d say himself he’s a bit relieved, but also I’m sure he knew with the lads he’s got and the performances under him, it was going to come sooner or later. Thankfully it’s come now in front of a home crowd.”