Russell Martin glad to be ‘old head’
Norwich City defender Russell Martin admits he is starting to feel part of the old guard among Paul Lambert's collection of fresh young talents.
Martin impressed again during the Canaries' 2-0 Premier League defeat to champions Manchester United at the weekend alongside Leon Barnett in central defence.
Still just 25, the former Brighton, Wycombe and Peterborough defender was the only member of Lambert's Old Trafford starting line-up to have clocked up more than 250 league appearances.
City's manager recruited the likes of exciting wide duo Anthony Pilkington and Elliott Bennett during the summer – supplementing their permanent arrivals with the addition of highly rated youngsters Kyle Naughton and Ritchie de Laet on season-long loans.
Martin revealed he has been happy to adjust to a changing role in City's defence over recent matches, allied to a more senior position within the dressing room pecking order.
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'Me and Crofty (Andrew Crofts) were saying the other day, we're not too old, we're not in the veteran things yet, but we've played a lot of games,' he said. 'I think it helps, definitely, but there are quite a few lads – Jonno's (Bradley Johnson) played quite a few games for his age – because we've been in the lower leagues we have played a lot of games, not sat on the bench at higher clubs and been out or not in the squad.
'It certainly helps. There's a little group of Ads (Adam Drury) and Holty (Grant Holt) and I see myself in that group almost, even though I'm a bit younger. I do see myself in that group of experienced players and if you can help any of the lads, the ones who haven't played as many games, of course you do.'
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Martin was again the orchestrator-in-chief of another resolute defensive display at United before the champions struck twice in the final quarter after Norwich had carved out a series of excellent opportunities.
'I think the communication's got better as the season's gone on,' he said. 'It's something that Cully's (Ian Culverhouse) been on about, we need to talk more as a team because we're not that experienced, we're quite a young team and it's getting there.
'With that, performances are getting better and better. Maybe that's why I was put there in the first place, because I like to talk to people. From the centre of the pitch it's a bit easier. From right-back you can only talk to a few people around, but from the centre of the pitch you get to see everything, so it's a little bit easier to talk. If you're talking to people around you it makes everyone's job easier, so it's something I like doing during the game.'