Russell Martin believes Premier League survival will be even tougher second time around.

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The Norwich defender – who agreed a new three-year deal with the Canaries earlier this month – feels all three newly promoted clubs are capable of emulating the achievements of City, Swansea and Queens Park Rangers by bridging the Football League divide.

“There are no easy games at all,” said Martin. “I think all three teams are coming up with good financial backing, and they are big clubs in terms of the size of support in their stadium. They are teams that have all been there, that’s the difference. Us and QPR hadn’t been there for a long while, and Swansea had never been in the Premier League at all. If anything it’s going to be harder than last year for us, because teams will be out to get us after the good season we had.”

Martin knows the value of a positive start to the campaign and the Scottish international insists Chris Hughton’s men can flourish at Fulham on the opening day of the new season.

“I really like Craven Cottage as a ground, I think it’s a great pitch to play on, probably one of the best pitches we played on last year,” he said. “They’ve got a decent side, and we gave a good account of ourselves in the second half there last season. Yes it’s a tough start, but they are all tough in this league, so I’m looking forward to it.

“The atmosphere (with the away fans) at Wigan last year was amazing, especially in the second half when we were kicking towards them – they filled up the whole end. Wherever they go they always create a good atmosphere. We take a lot of fans away from home and it always makes it interesting. It definitely gives the players a boost; we always talk about it.

“We’ve got one of the best supports in the country, home and away, and it’s really impressive when they come away in their numbers and make that long journey from Norfolk.”

Martin admitted City’s final day trip to Premier League champions Manchester City is as tough as it can get, but the 26-year-old is looking forward to the prospect of testing himself against the very best – particularly over the festive period.

“You couldn’t ask for a harder game to finish with, away to Manchester City, the Premier League champions,” he told the club’s official site.

“So hopefully we’ll be in a similar position to last season where we won’t need anything there. It’s a great way to finish and hopefully it’ll top off another great season for the club.

“I am really looking forward to our game against Chelsea on Boxing Day because it’s always nice to be at home over Christmas, and then we’re lucky enough to be playing another huge team three days later in Manchester City, so that will be a period to look forward to.”

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13 comments

  • How may sleeps is it to the first game of the season? Do Fulham still keep half a stand available for "neutral" supporters? How do older footballers get a holiday if schools won't let the kids out of school? John Ruddy sounds miffed at rumours he is leaving - but then so did Mr Lambert! I hate June at least in July the friendlies start

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    Pondlife

    Friday, June 22, 2012

  • Kent Anglian, so it was you! I remember your comment and I agreed. Have posted a similar comment on another board.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, June 22, 2012

  • It's a frustrating time knowing that everyone is away on holiday. Anyway, Holty will probably have worked out that the grass may seem greener on the other side and hopefully Hughton will get back from his DVD watching hols to settle him down. Kyle Naughton signing should also be on CH's radar screen too, although the vacancy at Spurs may hold that one for a while. Yes, tough times for the die-hard supporters we want to see progress, but, appreciate that succession takes time and those involved deserve a summer holiday (for a week or two) ! OTBC

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    Dubai Canary

    Friday, June 22, 2012

  • Agreed bogbog. Securing GH with a new contract would be good as well.

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    CovCanary

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

  • With us having a new manager we are likely to play differently in some way(s). This could make our play less predictable and, therefore, make things less tough with it being our second season? Just a thought having read Russll's musings.

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    Sprowstonboy

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

  • The CEO is holding the signing pen, as CH is watching DVD's, and waiting for Gebre Selasse and Jiracek to arrive from Warsall ... I wish! Nothing will come out about signings for a while yet, as players are on holiday, and the one's previously lined up, will be looking at Vanilla now. Let's be pleased that new contracts are being sorted, and anyone tempted west will command a big fee.

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    Soglio Star

    Friday, June 22, 2012

  • Have patience guys, CH is ploughing his way through all 38 DVDs from last season's league matches, not to mention cup games. I believe news will be no more likely to filter out now as ever with McNasty in control, and we need to wait till the Euros are finished to tie up Gomez , Klose and Schweinsteiger!!

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    Soglio Star

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

  • I'm one Canaries' fan whose morale would be boosted by news we've actually signed someone!

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    bogbog

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

  • Dear Archant Scribes. Can I repeat my request in an earlier thread for a list to be published showing the current Contract status of the players, please? Many thanks.

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    Kent Anglian

    Friday, June 22, 2012

  • Is Russell being lined up for the captaincy? He seems to be the spokesperson at the moment, or is the only player who forgot to book a holiday?

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    Pondlife

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

  • I'd rather us start with Fulham away than man City away ! For a start, we are overdue a good win at Craven Cottage, so we have to back ourselves to go there and get a result. As far as Man City away is concerned, hopefully the Title will be done and dusted by then, so hopefully Man City will already be on the summer holidays by then !

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    Dubai Canary

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

  • Yes, I`ve been thinking that, Pondy. Russell Martin for Captain. He certainly leads by example and plays anywhere in the Back4. Supports the winger, too, when he`s @ FB. Makes a mean goal-line clearance, too! I wonder if it will only happen if Holty does leave? Taking away the captaincy would not go down too well, I reckon. Makes his imminent departure all the more likely?

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, June 22, 2012

  • It looks like there is no room for sentiment at the moment and I am assuming that it is going to take a little while for things to work through. I have the feeling that we will have some intriguing signings by the close of business and some of them better include full-backs!

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    Swiss Canary

    Friday, June 22, 2012

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