Russell Martin seeks promotion hat-trick
Russell Martin is on familiar territory with the season approaching its climax and promotion very much on his mind.
The Canaries right-back won the League One title with City last season – a year after he skippered Peterborough United to the second automatic spot.
Now he believes a hat-trick is definitely on the cards – and that the City squad have the experience to deal with the pressure that comes with being on the verge of a place in the Premier League.
'Me and a few of the lads were talking the other day and I haven't played in a team yet that has not been fighting for something at the end of the season, which is great for me,' said Martin.
'I know a few of the lads who have been at clubs that have finished mid-table and stuff and just said that seeing a season out not having really achieved anything is frustrating and you just can't wait for the next one to come.
'But we have put ourselves in a great position and it is exciting to be involved in and hopefully the fans are finding that as well. We have a great chance of achieving what we want to achieve.'
Football history is littered with tales of teams that have cracked under pressure, but Martin believes City are handling the situation in the correct manner.
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'I think we should thrive on the pressure,' he said. 'The attitude should be, 'let's go for it'. No one expected us to be up here at the start of the season and now we are. There is no added pressure from anyone inside the camp, the gaffer's not put any added pressure on us. The lads put pressure on themselves, as we have all season, to go and do the best they can and I think it took a while in this league to realise we are good enough to compete, to be up there amongst the top teams. But now we have that belief and feel we warrant a place there with the performances we put in.
'Now it is up to us to stay there and that brings a different kind of pressure, but it happened last year, we were chasing teams and when we got there we had to stay there, but we did it and I think we have got the lads who we bought in who are used to that.
'The lads are used to that pressure and I think even more capable of coping with that this year than last year. I think we thrived on that last year and hopefully that will be the same this year.'
Martin says Lambert's faith in his playing staff has been a major factor in this season's successes.
'I think the gaffer might have tried to bring one or two faces in, but I think he has got total faith in this squad and we have got total faith in the gaffer and each other as well and I think that stands you in good stead and takes you a long way,' he said. 'He sticks by the lads week in, week out. You know what you have to do under the gaffer and for him to do that gives us great belief.'