Martin to put Henri in derby picture
AUDIO: Chris Martin has more reason than most to know just what the East Anglian derby means – which is why he might just have a word or two for new boy Henri Lansbury this weekend.
Martin was brought up in Beccles – tucked just inside the north Suffolk border, but closer to Norwich than Ipswich. It's a town where footballing loyalties are divided.
The 22-year-old knows the score. Lansbury – signed on an emergency loan deal from Arsenal in midweek – will know it by the time proceedings get under way.
'I think he'll understand it,' said Martin. 'When it comes round to Sunday and he feels the build-up in the next couple of days, because I'm sure it will start getting a bit more exciting.
'But yes, I will have a little word in his ear and just let him know what it means to people down here, but I'm sure he will adapt very well.'
Martin is well qualified: he's been at City since he was 10 years old and while he has only one derby game under his belt he knows what the fans expect.
'Living in Norwich now I suppose I haven't really felt it too much because I have kept myself to myself, but I'm sure there will be a bit of friendly banter going on down in Beccles because quite a few are Ipswich fans and there are quite a few Norwich fans as well, so I'm sure they are having good fun. I think the build-up will be friendly until kick-off on Sunday and then we will lock horns and see what happens.
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'I think I understand what it means to the fans – it's about bragging rights as well, it is about the pride and different things like that.
'I think being from the area I can understand it and understand the fans' passion and I am sure the other lads will get to see that on Sunday as well from the amount of noise they make. So I can understand it and hopefully we can use that passion and commitment on the pitch and deliver a good performance.'
Martin knows the derby inside out – even though his participation is limited to 34 minutes as a sub in a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road in April, 2007.
'I should have scored,' he said. 'I thought I should have anyway – I had a chance at the back post.
'But the atmosphere is always electric, as you'd expect. It is a different kind of passion from the fans as well. I think we need to understand it, which I think we will do, and I think they can drive us on and be the 12th man on Sunday and we can deliver a good performance.
'I think you are definitely always up for it a little bit more than any other game because you know about that passion. I think it does filter down to the players. Obviously we can't go overboard with it, we need to still be professional, but yes, we might perhaps find that little bit extra from somewhere.'
While Martin admits the fans' passion can't be surpassed, he does insist it will be matched by the players. 'I don't think the passion for the intense rivalry will be felt among the players as much as what it is between the fans,' he said. 'I'm sure it will be on Sunday for the 90 minutes, but after that it probably won't be as much as what the fans will be having with their banter back at work with different people.
'We are just concentrating on that 90 minutes on Sunday and giving it our all and showing the passion that we have got and the spirit we have got and if we stick together I am sure we can do well.'
City go into the game on a run of just one win in their last eight games – the last four of which have been draws.
But the general feeling is that those four points could have been more, had they had the rub of the green.
'I think if you look at the results and performances I think the performances have been very good without the results perhaps being there,' said Martin.
'But I suppose if you analysed it we could have had an extra at least four points from those games and you put us on another four points and we would be right back up there, so we have been a little bit unlucky I think, especially at Reading. Obviously that has been well documented, but we are not disheartened by the fact that we are taking draws off people, because we know that in most of those we should have won them.
'So as long as we keep putting in those performances then the wins will definitely start coming.'
Martin is expected to continue his partnership with skipper Grant Holt up front, having spent seven games on the bench when manager Paul Lambert gave Simeon Jackson a run in the starting XI. Martin reclaimed his place three games ago, having come on as a sub against Burnley and scoring the goal which helped City to a comeback draw.
'I'm just happy to get back into the team and playing and hopefully I can keep scoring and that will mean staying in the team also,' said Martin, who also scored in the 3-3 draw at Reading a fortnight ago.
'We know there is a bit of pressure on us to perform, with the strikers we have got waiting in the wings, like Jacko. He obviously showed how well he can do when he starts as well from last time. So I know I need to keep performing and I think everyone in the team does as well because we have some quality, especially coming back from injury as well. We have a good quality squad so we need to keep pushing each, other and I am sure that will happen.
'I think we have added quality again to the squad and there is even more competition for places, so that can only be healthy for the team and for the club. And if we can keep pushing each other on and driving each other on then that will hopefully bring out better performances from each other and better results as well.'