Russell Martin is backed to become Norwich City’s captain fantastic

Russell Martin is attracting plenty of support to replace Grant Holt as Norwich City captain. Pictur

Russell Martin is attracting plenty of support to replace Grant Holt as Norwich City captain. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Russell Martin is the clear favourite to replace his former room mate Grant Holt and lead the Canaries after captaining the squad during most of the pre-season build up to the new Premier League campaign.

Martin has polled nearly 50% of the votes cast in our online poll, with Sebastien Bassong the defender's only genuine rival from the votes already cast on our websites. The Scottish international's importance to the Canaries was underlined earlier this summer when he signed an extended deal, whilst Holt's summer exit to Wigan moved him upto second behind Wes Hoolahan on the long service list of current City stars at the club.

Bassong's leadership qualities helped him emerge as the club's deserved player-of-the-year last season following Holt's dominance of the prestigious award.

From the other potential candidates for the role in Chris Hughton's squad, Jonny Howson was Leeds' youngest captain after progressing through the ranks at Elland Road whilst former Leeds' team mate Bradley Johnson was a virtual ever-present for Hughton in the manager's first successful Premier League season at the helm.

Yet the man with the task of anointing Holt's successor as captain insists the process of integrating the likes of club-record purchase Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Leroy Fer - along with four other new faces - into the existing squad is a more pressing concern than who actually leads out the troops against Everton on August 17.

'No, I am giving myself that extra little bit of time. Within the squad it won't be a surprise perhaps the ones who come into contention, but I will give myself a little bit more time to think about that one,' said Hughton. 'We have worked very, very hard as a club and showed great ambition and now it is my job to make sure the new players make us better.'

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• City's potential runners and riders

Russell Martin

Age: 27

Norwich appearances, goals: 147 (10 goals)

Intelligent, articulate and the consummate professional. Martin is also one of the strongest enduring links to the club's rise from League One after completing a permanent move from Peterborough in January 2010. The Brighton-born player has proved adept at right-back and in central defence - where he starred for Scotland in a World Cup qualifying win in Croatia in June.

Sebastien Bassong

Age: 27

Norwich appearances, goals: 34 (3 goals)

A knee problem that eventually brought a premature end to Bassong's debut season failed to dim his huge impact on the club's fortunes. The Cameroon international was an inspirational figure who led by example during a club-record Premier League unbeaten run. Yet to feature during this pre-season period, however, after undergoing surgery.

Bradley Johnson

Age: 26

Norwich appearances, goals: 69 (3 goals)

Combative presence in Norwich's midfield. On the evidence of Chris Hughton's first season in charge at Carrow Road, Johnson will again be a permanent feature in the Canaries' Premier League starting line-up. Another in the Bassong mould who leads by example with his all-action style on the pitch endearing him to City's support, if not the club's opponents.

Michael Turner

Age: 29

Norwich appearances, goals: 28 (3 goals)

Turner's strength of character was underlined by his response to early adversity following his move from Sunderland last season. By the end of his debut campaign, he had emerged as a major figure in defence. A shoulder injury ruled him out of the run-in but Turner made his return against Braga last week. Quiet, unassuming member of City's squad.

John Ruddy

Age: 26

Norwich appearances: 98

Ruddy's consistent form for the Canaries has not only catapulted him into the England senior reckoning in recent times but established him as one of the senior voices within the City dressing room. Ruddy's calming presence at the back was sorely missed during the Canaries' testing run after Christmas last season prior to his return for the pivotal win over WBA.

Jonny Howson

Age: 25

Norwich appearances, goals: 44 (3 goals)

Still to firmly establish himself at the heart of Norwich's midfield but his Premier League displays towards the end of last season were pivotal in helping City to finish 11th. Howson is no stranger to the pressures of captaincy after becoming the youngest Leeds' skipper since Billy Bremner when he was awarded the armband at Elland Road as a teenager.

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