Russell Martin believes Norwich City are reaping the benefits of their new look centre-back pairing.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The Canaries’ first clean sheet of the season arrived in the goalless Premier League draw with West Ham United on Saturday – a feat City took until January to achieve last season.

And while the missed chances at the other end continue to be the subject of debate for most, City’s improved solidity under Chris Hughton has not gone unnoticed either.

Since his reported £3m arrival from Tottenham one week into the season, Sebastien Bassong has looked the part alongside fellow centre-back Leon Barnett – recalled to action after a lengthy spell on the fringes under previous boss Paul Lambert.

And Martin, himself looking as solid as ever in City’s right-back berth, is happy to see Norwich building from the back.

“Seb has done really well,” said Martin. “He went for £8m (from Newcastle) a couple of years ago so you know he’s going to be a good player, but he found it a bit hard at Spurs because of the finances they have there to get in players.

“But their loss is our gain. He’s a big, strong athlete and he likes to talk as well. It helps, he likes to chat, he’s a good character and he’s done really well.

“Credit to Leon Barnett as well for coming in the way he has the last couple of games. I think he’s been brilliant.

“Barney is a good player. He found himself unfortunate last season to be out because lads came in and did OK and he found himself out of it, but now he’s had a chance to come back in and he has taken it, grabbed it with both hands.

“They’ve worked really well together and I hope it will continue.”

With City being a little less expansive this season, Martin has found his own role a little more disciplined than in recent seasons – and he is fine with that, especially as he has still gone as close as anyone to getting City goals this season.

“I played centre-half for much of last season so it’s just getting used to playing at right-back again but I’m really enjoying it, playing behind Robert Snodgrass or Elliott Bennett or Anthony Pilkington – they’re all talented boys so you just give them the ball,” added Martin.

“Maybe it’s a bit less of an attacking role at the minute, but it has shown we are a lot more solid as a team. The back four stays as a back four and you join in when you want to. We’ve still got a licence to get forward but only when it’s really on and from a solid base. That’s what we’ve been working on.

“We’ve still got a licence to roam at certain times and playing with a winger in front of you is a lot different because you can give it to him and he will go and do the rest, but I hope that attacking impetus will still be there now and again.”

Latest Norwich City stories

7 comments

  • Good Lad that Martin, real worker and just gets on with it. A credit.

    Report this comment

    augustuspablo

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • Billy, we have an option to extend the loan for another year, he's been Mr Steady Eddy.

    Report this comment

    kevin

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • Yeah well said august, when James Nursey documented our first training session of the season he highlighted Rusty and said he was our stand out trainer and a real pro, shows on the pitch too.

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • i'm prety certain it was 1 year loan with an option to buy after that. i guess that was in case we get relegated , in which case i'm sure the option will not be taken up. probably as garrido would not fancy life in the championship, and from what i have seen of him he is certainly too good for that league.

    Report this comment

    goldeneadie

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • ref Garrido its a one year loan with an option to buy. To agree with Billy, Seb Bassong looks the best centre back we have had at the club for yonks. These 2 have certainly improved the defence.

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • What a signing Bassong has been, the man's unflappable, a real class act. Must admit when Leon came back in I was thinking oh my word what a bad a move, but it looks as though they've done a lot of work with him, he's always been a good defender, arguably our best at times in the Championship, but now seems to make a lot less contact in the box and in general, and seems a lot calmer, where as before I always felt he seemed a bit of a liability in goal threatening situations. But the acquisition of Bassong and also Garrido for that matter, have been real smart signings. Can anybody confirm if there is an option to buy with Garrido, I think it was discussed before.

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • Little to add, I agree, damn good signings . . loan deal? Bassong the best CB for many a season? Absolutely. Garrido a class act too. Between them (I have not forgotten Rus) an infection - and Barney's caught the bug!

    Report this comment

    Dissaster

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT