Russell Martin - Norwich City’s players know the price of failure
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Russell Martin reluctantly accepts the role of chief cheerleader but the Norwich City club captain is adamant the Canaries will emerge from their Premier League trough.
Martin has little appetite for the endless social media swirl right now focusing solely on Chris Hughton's ability to guide the club onwards and upwards after a ultimately fruitful debut campaign. The 27-year-old Scottish international's optimism is rooted in what he sees every day, not what he hears or reads regarding the manager's ability to turn things around.
'You don't see what goes on behind closed doors on a Monday to Friday. You see what happens on a Saturday but you don't see how hard the lads are working. We're 100% behind the manager,' he said. 'We're as frustrated as anyone outside the camp at where we are in the league. As a group we stick together. I don't think we will be where we are in the table for very long. It's a reflection on us, not just the manager. We get extremely well prepared, tactically and physically during the week. As lads we know where we have come up short, but we also know that in large parts we have played well.
'Hopefully if we can get a result this weekend that will stop people talking about pressure on the manager. I stay away from the social media stuff so don't feel too much of it. I'm sure some of the other lads do but what I do know is it's up to us to play well to keep him in a job.'
Martin speaks with the same honest endeavour he approaches his craft; Norwich's lowly league status even so early in the piece is a source of acute embarrassment.
'Yeah, definitely,' he said. 'I don't tend to look at the league table that much and it is still really early days, but a win puts you mid-table and then you look comfortable. It's crazy the contrast. Hull and Cardiff are one or two points ahead of us and they are perceived as having had a really good start because they have just come up and we are one win from leap-frogging them both.
'I believe this year for a long time it will be so tight and open outside the top six that teams will be jumping positions on a weekly basis and it is up to us to make sure we are at the top of that pack. We're there in the bottom three at the minute, but does it change much, mentally? For me, not at all.
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'We have to go out and win football matches. If we were like this with four or five matches to go then maybe you could have a bit of a worry.'