No place like home for Norwich City
Norwich City defender Russell Martin believes the Canaries' home form will ultimately decide their Premier League fate this season.
City's impressive draw against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday evening highlighted the belief manager Paul Lambert has instilled in his players away from home despite a lack of experience in the top-flight.
Victory at Bolton last month also saw the Canaries claim all three points on the road for the first time since December 1994 but Martin thinks City's form on their own patch will determine Premier League survival.
'You want to win all your home games, whether it's against Swansea, Manchester United – home form is going to be massive,' said Martin, who has been so impressive at centre-half alongside Leon Barnett this season. 'The more home wins we can pick up the more pressure it takes off us on the road.'
As Martin suggests, the more points that can be earned at Carrow Road could dictate City's policy on the road as the season evolves. It's great going to Anfield and Old Trafford feeling like you have nothing to lose in the early stages of the season but if City start needing to pick up points on their travels it could affect their form.
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There's nothing wrong with Martin's displays so far this campaign despite initially losing his place in Lambert's starting XI to Tottenham loanee Kyle Naughton at right-back.
Injuries to Zak Whitbread, Elliott Ward and Daniel Ayala meant Martin was pushed in alongside Barnett as an emergency centre half and he hasn't looked back since.
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The block that denied Luis Suarez at the start of the second half on Saturday summed up the 25-year-old's performances, even if the Canaries also had to also rely on a little help from the woodwork.
However, Martin knows though he will have to be on the top of his game to keep out the more recognised central defenders once they attain full fitness.
'Hopefully I can stay there as long as possible,' he said. 'It's up to me to keep them out. I'm enjoying it and me and Barney are growing every game. We're improving, I'll keep learning so hopefully I can improve in that position.'
Meanwhile, tickets and hospitality for the visit of Arsenal on November 19 are sold out. Seats went on sale at 9am yesterday for the Premier League clash, which will also be screened by Sky Sports, and were sold out to super members within an hour.