Martin gets his teeth into 'massive March'
Chris LakeyRussell Martin has been spitting out teeth for the cause of late - and says the Canaries have the bite to last the pace in the League One promotion race.Chris Lakey
Russell Martin has been spitting out teeth for the cause of late - and says the Canaries have the bite to last the pace in the League One promotion race.
The Canaries right-back had the full set for the weekend win at Oldham having had one elbowed out last week - and is now hoping that the month of March will give the club's promotion rivals plenty to chew on.
City begin with a home game against Yeovil on Saturday and then face trips to top-six pair Huddersfield and Swindon, who are snapping at the leading pair's heels, before the massive home game against second-placed Leeds at the end of the month.
It could prove to be make or break for some of the promotion hopefuls - and Martin believes City will come out the other side with the Championship well in sight.
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"It's a massive March," said Martin. "We picked up three really good points at Oldham and that really sets up us now.
"Of course, everyone is looking forward to it. You want to play in the big games and we have got two massive away games after Yeovil, who don't forget are a good side as well. Then of course there's the big one, at home as well, against Leeds and I'm sure the fans are looking forward to it as much as we are.
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"I feel we're building up nicely, and the weekend is a massive result, especially with the teams around us dropping points.
"We have always said we had to concentrate on ourselves. Oldham is a tough place to go - their manager said they had played really well their last couple of games. They've played some big teams - they had Leeds in midweek, when he felt they deserved more, and Colchester before that, when they should have got more.
"But we have gone there, a tough place to go, and we have played the conditions. There are games where you are not going to be able to play great football all the time, but we have shown we can grind out results - and with a clean sheet which will take us into March nicely.
"We've been due one for a while. We feel we have conceded some unlucky goals, some poor goals, so hopefully it gives us a solid base.
"We've spoken about it because we have been desperate to keep a clean sheet. We had a great run of not conceding - I think we kept five in six, then we conceded in a few, which is disappointing, so to keep a clean sheet is massive. We were as happy with that as we were with the result."
Martin was grateful to Fraser Forster for a fine late save - but would rather keep him marginalised.
"Fraser is brilliant, tremendous," he said. "You don't want your keeper to have to make great saves, but again when he's been called upon he is just fantastic. In a one-on-one he is one of the best I have seen in those situations. The less you can call on him the better, but when he does need to he pulls it out."
City looked in good shape at Oldham, when Grant Holt's 25th goal of the season earned them away win number nine - and echoes of last season for Martin, who was in Peterborough's promotion-winning team which went to Boundary Park and won.
And those front teeth - one of which came out against Southend a week ago - were still causing problems.
"I took an elbow last week and one came out," he said. "They're both false. I got them knocked out a couple of years ago. I did it when I was at Wycombe under the gaffer last time and he didn't show much sympathy. He said I was a defender and that's what happens.
"They come out now and again, but I've had them put straight back in - the dentist isn't too happy, but it's one of those things, it's worth it for the cause.
"I went to Oldham with Posh last season and we did pretty much the same - and I played without two front teeth then as well."