Norwich City defender Russell Martin plans on the last laugh with old room mate Grant Holt

Russell Martin celebrates with Grant Holt during their time at Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Russell Martin celebrates with Grant Holt during their time at Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Saturday, March 1, 2014
7:30 AM

Russell Martin knows Grant Holt better than he knows himself which is why the prospect of facing his former Norwich team mate at Villa Park holds no fears.

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"We roomed together on away trips and it was an experience, but I would like to think I have added a few years to his career with some of the lifestyle changes I helped him make."

Russell Martin

Martin and Holt were inseparable at Carrow Road on an unforgettable journey from League One before a parting of the ways that appears to have only strengthened the bond.

“I spoke to him on Thursday night and he is looking forward to it,” said Martin. “For 90 minutes we can put the friendship to one side and we’ll have a laugh after the game.

“It will be good to have a catch up and to see him, but he plays for Aston Villa and I play for Norwich so during the game that friendship means nothing. I’m sure he’ll try the verbals beforehand and I would expect nothing less but I would like to think I have better banter than him.

“Knowing him he would like more game-time but by the same token it wouldn’t surprise me if they had been wrapping him in cotton wool just for this one game. We’ll see. He is enjoying having another bite at the Premier League. It didn’t quite work at for numerous reasons at Wigan but he is enjoying it working for a manager he knows so well who puts a lot of trust and belief into him and who he has such a great relationship with.”

Martin does not miss sharing his living space with a player who as a predatory striker ranks up there with the best during his own career.

“We roomed together on away trips and it was an experience, but I would like to think I have added a few years to his career with some of the lifestyle changes I helped him make,” he said. “He is a good laugh and he is a big character. It was just his snoring I couldn’t put up with in the end so we ended up having to room apart.

“For what he did for this football club, and not just as a player and a leader, he was superb. I have played with a few good strikers but he is right up there.

“He is itching for more game-time (at Villa) and if he does play, great. It will certainly be different playing against him but we need to stop him doing what he does best and what he produced on numerous occasions for us. I wouldn’t have any problem if I had to mark him at a set piece.

“If there is a chance for him to smash me and vice versa we’d both enjoy that, but I don’t want him to score, or anyone for that matter, whether it’s (Christian) Benteke or (Gabriel) Agbonlahor. I want us to keep a clean sheet and win the game.”

Martin believes a first win over Paul Lambert since he left Carrow Road is long overdue.

“We probably have deserved more,” said the defender. “We should have won at Villa Park last season and the Capital One Cup game at our place for 60 minutes there was only one team in it and it all fell to pieces somehow.

“This season was the one when I felt we had chances and played well, like Cardiff City at home, and the only difference was Villa nicked a goal. We know they have that threat on the counter so that is one to be wary of. It is about us. We will try and dictate and play at the tempo and with the style we want.”

10 comments

  • OOps... I mean PLAYERS !!

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    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Wasn't that about the same time Brew! Culverhouse kept us alive after Lambert went AWOL for his final 3 months, and we finished strongly (should have been higher in the table)!. It's hardly been a success story from that moment up to date!

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • The payers know that too Dubai

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • I know the goals dried up a bit before Holt left but I'm pretty sure if Holt was playing for us now, we would be further up the table.

    Report this comment

    Rottsrool

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Ruzz, just take a nosebag full of oats and take it to the home team dressing room just before kick off. If anyone asks, just say its meals on wheels for a lame horse.

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • The goals dried up the minute Snodgrass came to town!

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • The goals dried up the minute Bewilderwood came to City, Pa.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • If Holt does play our defence must not touch him because we all know from when he played for us that he will go down at the slightest touch.

    Report this comment

    leslie cater

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • I am sure that the payers know very well how much a win at Villa would mean to the club - not to mention that three points would take us up to 31 Points and within sight of the 'finishing line'. Certainly our last few team performances have been very encouraging and there is every chance that City can take the prize on Sunday ! OTBC

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • I'm all set, ticket ready, bag packed, ready for trip tomorrow. If Norwich are winning, my song will be: It could have been u, could've been you, you, Oh Grant Holt, it could have been you!! OTBC, IHWT!!

    Report this comment

    Ghana Dom

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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