Relegation pain never goes away admits Norwich City captain Russell Martin

Russell Martin wants no repeat of Norwich City's 2014 relegation from the Premier League. Picture by

Russell Martin wants no repeat of Norwich City's 2014 relegation from the Premier League. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Russell Martin knows Norwich City are playing for high stakes in the club's Premier League survival scrap.

The Canaries' captain was part of the squad who went down in 2014, and Martin is determined to do what it takes to avoid another stain on his career.

'We have spoken about it among the lads recently. It hurts more than anything,' he said. 'I don't want another one on my CV, that is the same for the other lads.

'It will still hurt me in 20 years time talking about that but we have had a lot more good times that outweigh the bad. Last time we all felt we would get over the line and get the points we needed. Now we know exactly what the target is.

'It is about getting above that line and staying there. This is a different management team than the last time we went down, a different set of players, in terms of the squad, and we have a preferred method of playing.

'The truth of the matter is at this stage of that season we weren't even under pressure. We were comfortable. Everyone thought we were going to be safe and that was the problem. Sunderland went on a run that no-one could see happening. The fact we are in the bottom three at the minute means the aim and the focus is a bit different this time around.'

The Canaries' have slipped into the relegation zone after five straight defeats, which has led Martin and the rest of City's squad to confront some home truths at Colney in recent days.

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'We had a good discussion this week about where we need to go, what we need to do and the way forward. Everyone was involved, the staff and the players and it was good, honest and open,' he said. 'We have had a few during the course of the season so it's not a big deal but we have agreed on a way forward. Now we need to put it into practice.

'The gaffer has created a culture where you can be honest with each other and take criticism. Sometimes we as players need to take that on even more. There are no egos here but there are occasions when it has more impact coming from a team mate rather than the manager.

'It is not about getting heated with each other and arguing, but something needs to change. We have lost five league games. We are at home and we need to turn our form at some point.'

Bullish Martin is adamant City's downturn will not break Alex Neil's squad.

'This is not a group that is lying down and feeling sorry for themselves,' he said. 'When we play in the manner we can we are a good side but we have to go and prove that. We know what it is going to take.

'We don't just accept getting beaten by any team, we were disappointed with the Spurs performance and against Liverpool for 65 minutes was probably as good as we had been for a long, long time but the last 30 minutes takes away from that.

'At Aston Villa, you can't give a team a goal just before half-time. It gives them something to hang onto. That gave them belief and then they punished us after the break but we had a lot more chances and more possession that they did.'