Russell Martin wants to be a recognised man north of the border

Russell Martin celebrates with Grant Holt during their time at Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chester

Russell Martin celebrates with Grant Holt during their time at Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Russell Martin has been involved in the Scotland set-up for a couple of years now, yet he is barely known north of the border – something the Norwich City star is desperate to change.

The 27-year-old defender has regularly featured in Scotland squads but only has a handful of friendly caps to his name – something that should change on Friday, when Martin is expected to make his competitive debut during Scotland's World Cup qualifier in Croatia.

Martin is yet to make an appearance under current boss Gordon Strachan, but has high hopes for the months ahead – and with it a little more public recognition.

'I get picked up from the airport all the time and the taxi drivers haven't got a clue who I am,' said Martin.

'I'll get in the cab and ask them to take me to Mar Hall (Scotland's training base). They'll say, 'Oh that's a nice place, what are you doing there?' When I tell them I've come up to play football, they'll ask, 'Who for?' It's when I tell them I'm actually here to play for the country that they start asking who I am. And then they ask if Paul Lambert is still the manager at Norwich.

'It's great in one way. But the other side of it is I'm not well known and it's up to me to come up here and change that. I want to show people what I'm about.

'This time next year I want to look back and say I have been playing in most of the games and people will be saying, 'He's not too bad, he's worth a place in the team'.'

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Versatility has been handy for Martin's City career but possibly hampered his international ambitions.

'Yeah it's been frustrating really,' Martin told The Scotsman. 'I've been in a lot of squads but only played four times, coming off the bench and stuff like that.

'I keep coming back and plugging away, and hopefully if I'm playing well for my club the chance will arise here. – hopefully it comes this week.

'I can play right-back but I prefer centre-half. That's where I'll probably eventually settle and say at club level, 'I play there or I don't play'.

'At the minute though I'm switching between both, which my manager tells me is a good thing. You do what you have to do for the team.'