Bragging rights on the line for Norwich City’s Russell Martin in Euro mission
Norwich City’s Scottish international Russell Martin wants the bragging rights inside the Canaries’ dressing room as badly as a Euro 2016 qualifying win on Friday night against the Republic of Ireland.
Martin and club-mate Steven Whittaker are expected to be in the Scots’ line-up, but Wes Hoolahan’s ankle injury has robbed the pair of a potential showdown at Celtic Park.
The City captain admitted there is plenty riding on the outcome when he returns to Norfolk at the end of the international break.
“The banter has been going on for a couple of months already, ever since the draw really,” said Martin. “It would have been a great game for us all to be involved in, but there has been plenty of banter with Wes. It will be a massive occasion at Celtic Park, where both managers have managed Celtic as well. Ireland will bring their fair share of fans so it is one I am really looking forward to.
“Our manager has already said he thinks the group will go to the wire and I think he is right. It won’t be decided until the last game or maybe the one before.”
Martin is poised to earn his 15th cap for the Tartan Army after emerging as a first-choice centre back under Gordon Strachan.
“There’s been a huge change since he’s come in,” he said. “We’ve had really positive results and we felt we were really unfortunate not to come away with a point in Germany in the first game. He’s been getting performances from us in every match and it’s been great to be a part of. We can definitely qualify, but we’re going to have to make sure we’re at it and that we keep our level of performance up. If we do, I think we have a great chance of being there or thereabouts come the end of it.”