Russell Martin - We let ourselves down
AUDIO: Russell Martin says City let themselves and the fans down after a below-par display that saw them knocked out of the FA Cup by Leyton Orient.
The in-form right-back – who was wearing the captain's armband with Grant Holt on the bench – admitted the Canaries had come up short against opponents from a division below.
'It's disappointing for everyone involved,' said Martin. 'We let ourselves down a little bit, let the fans who turned up down a little bit.
'We were on top a little bit in the first half and if we score the first goal it's a totally different game, but unfortunately we didn't and we gave them something to hang on to and, to be honest, credit to them, they defended really well.'
Martin says the mistakes will be ironed out on the training field in time for the return to Championship action, and the crunch match against second-placed Cardiff City at Carrow Road.
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'We didn't create as much as we usually do, that's a disappointing thing, but we go again next week,' he said. 'It's a massive game for us, the priority really.
'It would have been nice to have a cup run, but it's just one of those days, it hasn't happened for us, but we have got to put it to bed, like we do any victory or defeat.'
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The difference in league status wasn't always apparent, and Martin believes the visitors rose to the occasion well.
'They come to a place like this where it is such a big crowd and a great place to play football, the atmosphere and a big pitch and they were up for it,' he said.
'You could tell that from the start and once they had something to hang on to it's a totally different game because we need to try and get something then and it becomes very open.
'They counter-attack quite well – that's obviously what they came and played for and credit to them, they stuck to their plan and carried it out well, but we should be breaking them down.
'Unfortunately we didn't, but we will work on the training ground this week, we will go again and be right for next week.'
There are always suggestions of complacency in such circumstances, but Martin admitted he was unable to pinpoint the reason for a lacklustre display.
'As professionals, no, it shouldn't happen, but you see it every year in the cup,' he said. 'There are always giant killings or teams from lower divisions beating someone higher up and it has happened to us today and I can't put a reason on it.
'The lads are massively disappointed as I'm sure the fans and the gaffer are, but you see it every year in the cup. We prepared exactly the same this week, training has been good. The boys were a bit tired earlier in the week from the heavy week last week, Saturday-Monday, but that is no excuse at all, we had to go again. We didn't hit the heights we have been recently, but I can't put a reason on it right now. We have to look over it again this week, see where we went wrong and put it right for next week.'
The man who will guide the players through that process is manager Paul Lambert, someone Martin knows well having served under him at Wycombe. The speculation at the end of last week over Lambert's future prompted intense scrutiny, but Martin said the players were always confident he would stay.
'As players we knew he'd stay – he has done an unbelievable job for this club and there are going to be people after him.
'There is no doubt that people will be looking at him from this league, that's for sure, and maybe higher, but he said he is staying, which is great news for us as players and I'm sure the fans feel exactly the same.
'We have got a massive chance of achieving something this year, perhaps something that people didn't expect, but as long as we keep plugging away and not putting in too many performances like today we will be alright.
'The club issued a statement early doors and then the gaffer's said his piece as well so I think that should be the end of it really. It's been put to bed, he is staying with us.
'It's great news for everyone and we will get back on the training ground where he will just want to carry on his job without all the intense media speculation and people hunting him down.
'It's massive for the players – even the lads that were here before he came spoke about what it was like beforehand and the change that he has had and the effect that he has had on every single player. The man management that he gets, him and Cully (assistant manager Ian Culverhouse), in training and stuff is brilliant.
'I've been lucky enough to play under him for three years now and nothing has changed. He expects extremely high standards, which is why he will be disappointed by today, and he has just got an aura about him that maybe some people haven't and I think that's why some people will be interested in him. He knows when to be serious and he knows when to have a joke with the lads. He's a man of few words really – during the week Ian does a lot of the training.
'The gaffer makes it simple – you know exactly what your job is when you got out on that pitch and if you don't do it he will let you know and if you do he will back you to the hilt.
'When he talks you listen and you take it on board and if you don't you know where you'll end up. Everyone wants to be part of this so everyone listens.'