Premier League survival is the only way Norwich City’s squad can make amends

Russell Martin is still convinced Norwich City will survive in the Premier League. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Russell Martin is still convinced Norwich City will survive in the Premier League. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
3:09 PM

Russell Martin views the appointment of Neil Adams as a line in the sand in Norwich City’s ongoing battle for Premier League survival. Here he tells PADDY DAVITT why.

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"Gary Holt worked with Neil, and I know him very well, and he speaks extremely highly of him. He is a good football man. This is his chance. This is a trial period to stake his claim for the longer term."

Russell Martin

Russell Martin realises the only fitting way to make amends for Norwich City’s squad letting down Chris Hughton is to clinch Premier League survival.

The Canaries’ club captain was the official spokesman for the dressing room at Neil Adams’ unveiling and Martin made no attempt to dispute the players’ culpability in a chain of events which culminated with ‘Team Hughton’s’ exit.

“We are obviously disappointed to see three men go who we all respected and had good relationships with but unfortunately it has not worked out and we must take a big part of the responsibility as players,” he said. “Any manager at any football club has to rely on players to get results for them.

“They wouldn’t have been in this situation if we had produced better results. We haven’t performed consistently enough for them.

“When Paul (Lambert) left the building we were all on our summer holidays so there was no-one around the place. This time the circumstances are different. We have five massive games. We have to shoulder a lot of the responsibility. We have had some good performances without the results and other times we have been nowhere near good enough.

“But I still feel, for me, there is no major crisis. I would not come out and say that we will stay up if I didn’t feel it. We are five points above the bottom three and it is up to us to make sure it stays that way.”

Martin was in contact with Hughton and his assistant Colin Calderwood within hours of the Sunday night decision. Claims the previous manager had lost the dressing room fuelled by his perceived negative approach do not stand up to closer scrutiny for the defender.

“Each manager is different and as a player you have to buy into that or you find yourself out of the picture pretty quickly,” said Martin. “You have to do what is required in any walk of life. The manager is the boss of the football club and you want to impress him by doing anything you are told. Regardless of how you approach the game we step over the white line on a pitch and we haven’t done it enough for him. People will have opinions on a manager’s playing style but irrespective of what we feel as players the majority are disappointed.

“Had we stopped playing for Chris? No. The boys were still battling for him. We were trying everything for him and you saw that on Saturday, but it has not been good enough for a while.

“There is no animosity there. I’ve spoken to Colin on Sunday night and he wishes the boys all the best and I will hope to speak to Chris at some point. We exchanged texts and you wish them all the best as well. We move on now and get behind Neil.”

Martin believes the highly-regarded Adams’ internal promotion can have the desired effect.

“Neil has played at this level. He knows what the club expects and whether he is working with the young players or the senior professionals he knows what he wants,” he said. “It is about getting people on board with how you want to play. It is about getting people to play for you and to believe in you and I believe in Neil and so do the lads, especially after our first meeting. Everyone wants to be in the Premier League and he is the right man to lead us. To produce an FA Youth Cup winning team against clubs spending millions of pounds at that level is a mark of the man. Gary Holt worked with him, and I know him very well, and he speaks extremely highly of him. He is a good football man. This is his chance. This is a trial period to stake his claim for the longer term.”

Martin also realises the pivotal role he has as one of the senior voices in the dressing room to soothe that transition.

“We are going to be important these next few weeks making sure everyone is behind Neil,” he said. “People like myself, Jonny Howson, John (Ruddy), Snods (Robert Snodgrass), Seb (Bassong) need to make sure we rally round. West Brom was not a pleasant experience for anyone, but Fulham will be the biggest game some have played in their careers.

“People keep saying the run-in after that is frightening. It is not. At home I fancy us against anyone. I am certain we will get points in those last four games.”

21 comments

  • "I still feel,for me, there is no major crisis"- Oh My God!!! This is the Club captain talking to the press. When is this team going to wake up and look at the Premier League Table??? Does Martin not realise that he helped get Hughton sacked with that attitude!?! I give up, Russell Martin and his "lads" need to adopt a sense of responsibility and urgency. Responsibility because they have got the Club into this position and urgency because we are in this perilous position.

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    kenfoggo

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • I tend to speed read these articles but the bits that registered are like Hoots is still there.

    Report this comment

    Lincs Canary

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Russell Martin looks like he's competing in a dressage event at Burleigh and forgot to bring a horse. A pose likely to put the fear of God into opposing wingers and make No. 17s want to break his tibia. Sorry, I did TRY to say something meaningful in response to Divot's article, but I got writer's block and decided to study the pretty photograph instead.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Oops! I think that should be "Burghley"...... Stupid spelling for a stupid activity.

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    User Removed

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • would be nice to hear something from our team captain?Though he still might be a little upset.

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • btb means, I presume, that two thirds of EPL players are not English whereas the majority of Championship players are English. btb does not tell us why this makes the Championship better.

    Report this comment

    Cecil

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Just stop talking Russell and do your job on the pitch.

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    Jaszli Johari

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Would be so much better if you played in the English League, win more games plus E Anglia derbys

    Report this comment

    Blocked User

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • I'll be disappointed if we rock up on Saturday with cack handed wingers. I can't believe NA an ex winger himself will buy into that daft idea. I seem to remember him always playing on his strongest side and clipping plenty of crosses over every match, not the 1's and 2's that have been achieved each match under CH. Our strikers might actually get some service if this is the case. I'd be tempted to go with Red on the right, Pilks on the left and Snods in a no. 10 role behind a striker. Fingers crossed.

    Report this comment

    Double D

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Another completely non article. A few facts we already know and a few predictable sound bites that we've heard before. For Heaven's sake MrDivot, write something interesting and original

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    User Removed

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Just stop talking Russell and do your job on the pitch.

    Report this comment

    Jaszli Johari

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • The boys did stop playing for Chris. Just admit it that the players also wanted CH to go man... No need to cover up.

    Report this comment

    Jaszli Johari

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • I have to admit that I don`t understand what you`ve said, btb.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • What a difference 4 and a half seasons makes. Rescued from Peterborough by Lambo, became a player who rose to the occasion, improved his game and merited his chance to play in the Prem. Excellent first season. So-so 2nd. Pretty poor this time out. Complacency setting in? Bad management? A bit of both. A lot of the latter.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • …..It sure does Cecil, and the sooner sanity returns to the Premiership the better!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • It wasn't the dressing room CH lost it was the supporters. That sums up the problem for me. He was too cosy with the players and when they didn't deliver he didn't act tough enough

    Report this comment

    midlandcanary

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • Stew, you are saying the Championship is better than the EPL? So you want us to go down?

    Report this comment

    Cecil

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Unfortunately like you Russell they haven't been very good this season!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • Telling lines in there are 'all respected' and the 'majority are disappointed'. Hmmm

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • Unfortunately like you Russell they haven't been very good this season!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • Silly Billy! We Canaries only play in decent PL stadiums - not half empy ones in like Portman Rd in inferior leagues.

    Report this comment

    Honest Injun

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

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

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