Sad times for Russell Martin as he prepares for a series of Norwich City goodbyes

Russell Martin is preparing to bid farewell to John Ruddy and centre-back Ryan Bennett.
Picture: Pa

Russell Martin is preparing to bid farewell to John Ruddy and centre-back Ryan Bennett. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Russell Martin revealed Stuart Webber's cull caught Norwich City's squad by surprise.

John Ruddy headed a list of seven senior players deemed surplus to requirements by the club's new sporting director earlier this week.

Martin expected a turnover over the summer but the speed Webber has acted underlined he means business at Carrow Road.

'I think it was inevitable it was going to happen at some point. Stuart has decided to do it a week early to allow the lads and the rest of the group to take it in,' said Martin. 'It is difficult to see players you enjoy playing alongside and people you enjoy being with leaving. Personally it will be different not seeing them around. The players found out on the morning it was announced. I exchanged text messages with John and Ryan (Bennett) and there was surprise. I think four or five of them had accepted they were leaving. John and Ryan, probably a little bit different. The others haven't been involved much since they signed. They knew what was coming a while ago. I am sure they were prepared for that. Kyle (Lafferty) and Youssouf (Mulumbu) need to ignite their careers. Someone like Kyle has just got on with it and been brilliant around the place. He has been frustrated at times but he has never been a problem.'

Ruddy's exit will be especially tough for Martin, after the duo played a prominent role in the club's Premier League era.

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'I don't want to single out the lads but John has been great,' he said. 'John over the past seven seasons for what he has done deserves a good send off. Stevie Whittaker has been my room mate for a long time. A good friend. Ryan as well. I am sure there will be some more comings and goings.

'I don't know if some of the decisions are down to finance and wages. I am the wrong person to ask. I would be sure there are other factors that come into play. The club have said they want change to freshen things up. Wages and finance come into it but that is not the only factor. People might benefit from a change of scenery.

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'Ryan probably has not played as much as he wanted over the past two years. I think both him and John are in a strong position. They are a good age. Ryan should be entering his prime years and John is not old for a keeper.'

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