Norwich City’s Russell Martin warns the time has come to cut out defensive charity

Norwich City club captain Russell Martin wants the Canaries to tighten up. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City club captain Russell Martin wants the Canaries to tighten up. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City club captain Russell Martin admitted he felt powerless watching his Scottish international team mate Robert Snodgrass stretchered off in the midweek Capital One Cup defeat at Manchester United.

Martin was an unused substitute at Old Trafford but headed straight for the tunnel in the immediate aftermath of Snodgrass' worrying second-half exit after the midfielder was knocked unconscious. The full-back yesterday praised the quick-thinking of United keeper Anders Lindegaard for putting his prone team-mate in the recovery position before medical staff from both clubs assessed his condition.

'There was real concern at the time. We can have a laugh now he is back in among the group but it seemed to take an awful long time to get him back on the stretcher. It was a real worry,' said Martin. 'Fortunately he came around fairly quickly. Once we knew he was okay it was a real relief. It was a concern for anyone who was there. I think a few Manchester United fans around me were asking our bench what was going on as well. We didn't have any information to give them.

'Snoddy was just about conscious when I went down the tunnel to see him. He has no recollection of anything that happened. The keeper did brilliantly. We can only think him for that. You never know what can happen but he reacted very quickly. When he put him in the recovery position you knew it was serious. The lads would thank him if we bump into him again and I am sure Snoddy will send him a text or give him a phone call to tell him how much he appreciated it.'

City shipped two late goals at Old Trafford in what Martin accepts is a worrying trend after similar concessions in the recent Premier League defeats against Chelsea and Arsenal.

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'In our opinion we have played well in the last three league games and not got what we deserved,' he said. 'By the same token there is also a time when you need to say if you are not going to get anything then be difficult to beat, like we were last year and not conceding goals. We've conceded too many late on and that needs to stop. We know that. You have to physically and mentally switched on.

'We've set high standards in the past four years. The team spirit is still very much there and it is a humble group. At present the results are not quite going for us but within that group the senior players need to make their voices heard. We have to make sure we have that strong identity that, in my opinion, has meant no team has worked harder than us in the past when we go out on the pitch. That is what we need to get back to and if we do we have more than enough quality to improve on last year.'

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