Our motivation is promotion - Martin
Jonathan RedheadTwo-goal hero Chris Martin believes the Canaries' 5-0 win at Colchester has finally laid to rest the ghosts of humiliation from the opening day of the season.Jonathan Redhead
Two-goal hero Chris Martin believes the Canaries' 5-0 win at Colchester has finally laid to rest the ghosts of humiliation from the opening day of the season.
Talk of the 7-1 slaughter in August was unavoidable in the build-up to Saturday's game, and although the word revenge was not used by anyone at Carrow Road in public, the thought must have been somewhere in the minds of City players who had suffered in August.
Martin, who played against Paul Lambert's U's in that unforgettable game, said the Canaries had made a big statement with their victory on Weston Homes Community Stadium quagmire.
But he conceded that the first game of the season was still lingering in the dressing room.
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'I don't think it was about that first and foremost, but obviously it does kind of lay it to rest now,' Martin said.
'It was always in the back of people's minds I think, especially the fans, they obviously remember it, and the lads who played in it wanted to make sure we laid it to rest and I think we made a big statement.
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'It could have been motivation for some people, but I don't think for myself I really used that.
'We'd tried to forget about that as best as we possibly could at the time. I think our motivation is promotion and that's a big motivation for anyone in this league.'
The Canaries had to abandon their usual slick passing game to cope with the terrible pitch, and Martin said his side's ability to adapt to the conditions and their fighting spirit was key to the victory.
'We probably thought it was going to be a lot closer than it turned out, but I think that was due to our dominance in the game,' he said.
'I think we were first to most balls and to the second balls as well and showed great fighting spirit and that's what got us the result.
'We had to change our game a lot and I think it is credit to us for doing that, because we are obviously not used to doing that, we like to play football, but it wasn't possible on that pitch at all.
'We had to play a lot of long balls but we managed to adapt very well and we played them at their game I suppose and we ended up coming out of it all right.'
Martin had his own battles with the pitch, none more so than we he claimed the second goal of his brilliant brace.
After sweeping City ahead in the 16th minute with a fine low, left-footed drive beyond goalkeeper Ben Williams from the edge of the box, Martin found himself one-on-one with Williams just before half-time.
But as the ball became stuck in the mud, he had the skill and composure to play it back into his path before coolly slotting the ball beyond Williams for a decisive lead.
'The second one was horrible and I never thought it was going to sit for me,' he said.
'I was trying to drag it through the mud, the swamp, just outside their box, but luckily I managed to claw it through and popped it in the corner.
'But I was very happy and that was big for us to go into the lead and from there we never looked back.'
The 21-year-old could have claimed his first league hat-trick for the club in the 58th minute when the Canaries were awarded a penalty for a foul by Magnus Okuonghae on Grant Holt.
City were 3-0 up at the time, but despite his possible claims to the spot-kick, Martin deferred to regular taker Wes Hoolahan.
However, Hoolahan missed and Martin had no chance to claim the match ball before he was replaced in the 84th minute by Zak Whitbread.
'Obviously, I wanted it and a few of the lads said 'Why don't you take it?' but we have to be professional and Wes is the penalty taker so he had to take it,' said Martin.
'You can't go changing the penalty taker just because someone's on a hat-trick, but looking back at it now, perhaps I should have taken it.
'But we kept it professional and he was a little bit unlucky with it coming off the bar.'