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Arrival of new Norwich City chief focused minds ahead of superb victory over Reading

Russell Martin raised his black armband in memory of long-serving City staff member Peter Oldfield when celebrating his goal against Reading. Picture: PAUL CHESTERTON

Russell Martin raised his black armband in memory of long-serving City staff member Peter Oldfield when celebrating his goal against Reading. Picture: PAUL CHESTERTON

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Russell Martin admits the arrival of sporting director Stuart Webber helped to focus minds ahead of Norwich City’s surprise 7-1 demolition of promotion hopefuls Reading.

Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber, left, and technical director Ricky Martin applaud Alex Pritchard as he is substituted during the 7-1 win over Reading. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdNorwich City sporting director Stuart Webber, left, and technical director Ricky Martin applaud Alex Pritchard as he is substituted during the 7-1 win over Reading. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Canaries skipper scored the fourth goal as six were plundered in the first half, the first time the feat has been achieved in the 82-year history of Carrow Road.

“It shouldn’t have an effect on your professionalism and the way you act but whether it’s sub-conscious or not, it does,” Martin said of Webber’s arrival.

“We’ve known he’s coming in, it’s been well documented, it’s taken a while but he’s introduced himself to the players and the staff and he’s been honest, there’s going to be changes at the football club.

“So everyone now has to prove themselves, I said it after Wednesday (losing 3-0 at Huddersfield) and even after a result like this, we have to keep that up as players and show that we want to be part of it next year because it’s an exciting time for the football club. I know there’s all this negativity and frustration of this season but it’s going to be an exciting period, a new manager coming in, whoever that’s going to be, and Stuart running his side of things that will maybe demand certain things that haven’t happened before.

Russell Martin of Norwich scores his sides fourth goal during the Sky Bet Championship match against Reading at Carrow Road, Norwich
. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdRussell Martin of Norwich scores his sides fourth goal during the Sky Bet Championship match against Reading at Carrow Road, Norwich . Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

“We’ve got some really good people at the football club and he’s aware of that, it’s about adding to that and making sure everyone’s pushing in the right direction, that’s his role.”

The shock thrashing of the fourth-placed Royals briefly saw play-off hopes flicker but Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Newcastle leaves City nine points adrift with five games remaining and Martin knows Webber will be focussed on next season.

“We need to help him by getting some performances and results between now and the end of the season and getting a bit of togetherness back with the supporters, who have been excellent,” the 31-year-old Scotland international defender continued.

“We haven’t given them enough away from home but at home this season we’ve been pretty good on the whole in terms of results but away from home we haven’t been anywhere near good enough. Stuart coming in will pick some of the lads up, they’ll see it as a new chance, some people will see it as a bit of a kick up the backside and that might be just what we need.”

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