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Apathetic Norwich City couldn’t handle their Championship expectations – and it’s left captain Russell Martin embarrassed at the fallout

Russell Martin and Jonny Howson applaud the hardy souls who traveled to support Norwich City at Huddersfield, following their defeat. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Russell Martin and Jonny Howson applaud the hardy souls who traveled to support Norwich City at Huddersfield, following their defeat. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Apathetic Norwich City could not cope with the expectation on their shoulders this season.

Alex Pritchard's expression says it all, as Norwich City concede the first of three goals at Huddersfield. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesAlex Pritchard's expression says it all, as Norwich City concede the first of three goals at Huddersfield. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

That is according to Canaries skipper Russell Martin, who was visibly angered by the 3-0 defeat at promotion hopefuls Huddersfield Town on Wednesday night – the latest capitulation away from Carrow Road.

“We’ve become desperate because we haven’t dealt well enough with the expectation levels this year,” said Martin.

“I have to come out here and speak again as captain, and I’ll get peppered from pillar to post for that.

“But someone’s got to do it and we should be experienced enough. Our team is full of international players, players with Premier League experience.

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner greets his opposite number, City caretaker manager Alan Irvine, before kick-off on Wednesday night. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesHuddersfield Town manager David Wagner greets his opposite number, City caretaker manager Alan Irvine, before kick-off on Wednesday night. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“What happens when you’re in the Premier League is Monday to Friday, for the Saturday, you have to work extremely hard because everything is scrutinised. You come to the Championship, and you’re not under so much pressure. You’re not scrutinised as much. And I think there’s been as a group, a bit of apathy and whether it’s conscious or subconscious, people relax.

“Monday to Friday you have to work so hard in the Premier League because you will get exposed on the Saturday. I think we’re guilty of that this year as a group – myself, everyone; when I say ‘we’ I don’t mean everyone else – we’re guilty of that, for sure.

“We don’t… Let’s be honest now, we’re at the stage of the season where you can’t paper over the cracks. Things need to change. We said that in the dressing room, I said that in the dressing room. We’ve become too accepting of it and our standards have dropped.

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“We hid behind the manager for eight months and he was gone. Everyone blamed him – and not much has changed. We did OK for two or three games without him. Even at Aston Villa, I thought we played really well but we got beaten. We dominated the game.

“And then this happens again, and it shows what we’ve been about all season – and that’s embarrassing for our football club.”

One person Martin does have sympathy for is City’s current caretaker manager.

“Alan (Irvine) has done brilliantly since he he’s taken it on the training pitch I would say, and we’ve done him a disservice,” he added.

“We’ve let him down here because he’s a good guy. He has worked extremely hard. What we’ve said there as a group, he’s agreed with. It’s taken us this long to be honest and it’s… yeah. Whatever happens, whenever the club decides to do it, there will be some change and everyone has to step up to the plate. It’s as simple as that.”

Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey and Facebook @mbjourno


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